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Special Areas of Conservation

Studland to Portland

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Extra-Regio
Centroid*
Latitude 50.555
Longitude -2.168
SAC EU Code UK0030382
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 33184.28
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of Studland to Portland SAC

General site character

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets (100%)

Download the Natura 2000 standard data form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 1170 Reefs

    This site lies off the south coast of Dorset and contains numerous areas of reef in many forms, which exhibit a large amount of geological variety and biological diversity. Features of particular interest within the Studland Bay to Ringstead Bay area include a series of limestone ledges (up to 15m across) protruding from shelly gravel at Worbarrow Bay, which support a rich sponge and sea fan community; dense brittlestar beds (Ophiothrix fragilis)) on shale reefs extending from Kimmeridge; a unique reef feature, known as St Albans ledge, extending out over 10km offshore and subject to strong tidal action; and an area of large limestone blocks known as the “seabed caves”. The Portland Reefs are characterised by flat bedrock, limestone ledges (Portland stone), large boulders and cobbles. On the western side of Portland Bill, rugged limestone boulders provide deep gullies and overhangs. Mussel beds (Mytilus edulis) are found to occur in very high densities on bedrock associated with strong currents to the southeast of Portland Bill.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

  • Not Applicable

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.