Site details

UK map showing location of Elenydd Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Elenydd 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

6130 Calaminarian grasslands of the Violetalia calaminariae
Heavy metals have been extracted from the Ystwyth Valley for over 1000 years. At Cwm Ystwyth this activity has left extensive areas of rock outcrop, scree, spoil-heaps and abandoned shafts, adits and buildings variously affected by heavy metals available for colonisation by heavy metal-tolerant plant species. Lichens and bryophytes are a notable component of the developing flora and include a number of scarce species such as Vezdaea cobria, Lecanora handelii, Gyalidea subscutellaris and Ditrichum plumbicola.
7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature
Elenydd comprises the largest tract of blanket mire within the central Wales uplands. Considerable areas of the habitat display signs of modification, with impoverished vegetation dominated by grasses and with reduced amounts of dwarf shrubs and widespread bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. Areas of good quality mire are typically fragmented by species-poor vegetation dominated by purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea. However, there are extensive stands of M18 Erica tetralixSphagnum papillosum mire that contain locally abundant bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia, as well as areas of mire in which heather Calluna vulgaris and hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum are dominant. Areas of hummock and hollow surface patterning are found locally.

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

3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoëto-Nanojuncetea
4030 European dry heaths

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

1831 Floating water-plantain  Luronium natans
The remote Elenydd lakes are amongst the best upland oligotrophic lakes in Wales and have been relatively untouched by abstraction and water-level modification. Their populations of floating water-plantain Luronium natans show a highly natural submerged distribution, in association with a wide range of associated species, and are an apparently ancient refuge site secure from the intensification which has afflicted lowland populations.

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

Not applicable.

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