Habitat account - Marine, coastal and halophytic habitats

1340 Inland salt meadows  * Priority feature

Background to selection

Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 1340 Inland salt meadows.  Click image for enlarged map.
Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 1340 Inland salt meadows. Click image for enlarged map.

Description and ecological characteristics


Inland salt meadows refer to non-coastal sites supporting saltmarsh vegetation. In the UK this vegetation corresponds to NVC types SM16 Festuca rubra salt-marsh community and SM23 Spergularia marina Puccinellia distans salt-marsh community.


The Annex I type comprises anthropogenic stands found, for example, in former salt-working sites, as well as natural or near-natural forms.


Inland salt meadows are a rare habitat type, having declined dramatically in the past 50 years in all areas where it occurs. The destruction of much of the natural habitat can be traced back to early salt-production activities.

European status and distribution



This is a rare habitat type that occurs in a number of European countries.

UK status and distribution Click to view UK distribution of this habitat


In the UK there is only one known remaining natural inland salt meadow.

Site selection rationale


The single known remaining natural site in the UK has been selected.

Site accounts

Pasturefields Salt Marsh Shropshire and Staffordshire
Pasturefields Salt Marsh in the West Midlands is the only known remaining example in the UK of a natural salt spring with inland saltmarsh vegetation. The vegetation consists of red fescue Festuca rubra, with common saltmarsh-grass Puccinellia maritima, lesser sea-spurrey Spergularia marina, saltmarsh rush Juncus gerardii and sea arrowgrass Triglochin maritimum in the most saline situations.

SACs/SCIs/cSACs where this Annex I habitat is 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.