River Itchen

Site details

UK map showing location of River Itchen Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of River Itchen SAC/SCI/cSAC


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

3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
The Itchen is a classic example of a sub-type 1 chalk river. The river is dominated throughout by aquatic Ranunculus spp. The headwaters contain pond water-crowfoot Ranunculus peltatus, while two Ranunculus species occur further downstream: stream water-crowfoot R. penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans, a species especially characteristic of calcium-rich rivers, and river water-crowfoot R. fluitans.

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

1044 Southern damselfly  Coenagrion mercuriale
Strong populations of southern damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale occur here, estimated to be in the hundreds of individuals. The site in central southern England represents one of the major population centres in the UK. It also represents a population in a managed chalk-river flood plain, an unusual habitat for this species in the UK, rather than on heathland.
1163 Bullhead  Cottus gobio
The Itchen is a classic chalk river that supports high densities of bullhead Cottus gobio throughout much of its length. The river provides good water quality, extensive beds of submerged plants that act as a refuge for the species, and coarse sediments that are vital for spawning and juvenile development.

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

1092 White-clawed (or Atlantic stream) crayfish  Austropotamobius pallipes
1096 Brook lamprey  Lampetra planeri
1106 Atlantic salmon  Salmo salar
1355 Otter  Lutra lutra

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