Peak District Dales

Site details

UK map showing location of Peak District Dales Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Peak District Dales 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

6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
Peak District Dales is one of the most extensive surviving areas in England of CG2 Festuca ovinaAvenula pratensis grassland. Grasslands at this site range from hard-grazed short turf through to tall herb-rich vegetation, with transitions through to calcareous scrub and 9180 Tilio-Acerion forests – a diversity of structural types unparalleled in the UK. There is also a great physical diversity due to rock outcrops, cliffs, screes and a variety of slope gradients and aspects. In contrast to examples of FestucaAvenula grassland on chalk to the south, these grasslands are less at risk from the threat of invasion by upright brome Bromopsis erecta and tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum, which are at the edge of their range here and have limited vigour. The relatively cold oceanic nature of the climate means that there is enrichment with northern floristic elements, such as limestone bedstraw Galium sterneri and globeflower Trollius europaeus.
9180 Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines  * Priority feature
Representing the north-central part of its UK range, this site in the English Midlands contains a large area of Tilio-Acerion, dominated by ash Fraxinus excelsior. Locally, sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is abundant. The Dales provide good examples of woodland-scrub-grassland transitions, with associated rich invertebrate populations and plant communities. Among the uncommon plants present in the woods are mezereon Daphne mezereum and green hellebore Helleborus viridis, as well as whitebeams Sorbus spp. on the crags.

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

4030 European dry heaths
6130 Calaminarian grasslands of the Violetalia calaminariae
7230 Alkaline fens
8120 Calcareous and calcshist screes of the montane to alpine levels (Thlaspietea rotundifolii)
8210 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation

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

1092 White-clawed (or Atlantic stream) crayfish  Austropotamobius pallipes
The River Dove represents white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes in a high-quality, upland limestone river, in the north-east of the species’ UK range.

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

1096 Brook lamprey  Lampetra planeri
1163 Bullhead  Cottus gobio

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