Habitat account - Coastal sand dunes and continental dunes


2330 Inland dunes with open Corynephorus and Agrostis grasslands 

Background to selection

Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 2330 Inland dunes with open Corynephorus and Agrostis grasslands.  Click image for enlarged map.
Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 2330 Inland dunes with open Corynephorus and Agrostis grasslands. Click image for enlarged map.

Description and ecological characteristics

 

This habitat comprises inland dune grassland containing grey hair-grass Corynephorus canescens. In the UK the vegetation of this habitat falls within NVC types SD11 Carex arenaria Cornicularia aculeata dune community, and SD12 Carex arenaria Festuca ovina Agrostis capillaris grassland, where the vegetation includes stands of grey hair-grass in inland situations. Coastal examples of these two NVC types are referable to Annex I type 2130 Fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation ("grey dunes").

European status and distribution

 

This Annex I habitat has been recorded from a wide range of Member States within the EU.

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

 

Inland dunes with open Corynephorus and Agrostis grasslands are an extremely rare habitat in the UK, found in one small part of the Breckland area of East Anglia, eastern England.

Site selection rationale

 

The only known UK example has been selected; the site includes the few small remnants of the inland sand dunes that once occurred over a wider area of Breckland.


Site accounts

Breckland East Anglia
Wangford Warren and adjoining parts of RAF Lakenheath are included in the Breckland site as the only occurrence of this habitat type in the UK. The site has one of the best-preserved systems of active inland sand dunes in the UK. The habitat type, which is in part characterised by the nationally rare grey hair-grass Corynephorus canescens occurring here at its only inland station, is associated with open conditions with active sand movement. The site shows the colonisation sequence from open sand to acidic grass-heath.

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.