Halkyn Mountain/ Mynydd Helygain

Site details

UK map showing location of Halkyn Mountain/ Mynydd Helygain Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Halkyn Mountain/ Mynydd Helygain 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
Halkyn Mountain has the most extensive recorded area of the metalliferous NVC type OV37 Festuca ovina Minuartia verna grassland community in Wales. Stands of this vegetation type are associated with a number of old lead and zinc ore mines, which date back to Roman times and were intensively worked during the 19th century. They include relatively open, lichen-rich swards, as well as more closed examples with abundant wild thyme Thymus polytrichus. The stands are scattered over an extensive undulating plateau of Carboniferous limestone, most of which is unenclosed common land. They are associated with more extensive areas of open and closed calcareous and acidic grassland and dwarf shrub heath vegetation vegetation, some of which is upland in character.

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

4030 European dry heaths
6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)

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

1166 Great crested newt  Triturus cristatus
Halkyn Mountain is a large area of mostly common land in north-east Wales. The landscape is much modified by human activities, with abandoned metalliferous mining and rock quarries a prominent feature of the site. The large great crested newt Triturus cristatus population breeds in abandoned quarry workings and various other waterbodies across the site. The terrestrial habitat is very varied, with calcareous grassland, heathland and scrub prominent throughout. The site is grazed mostly by sheep.

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.