Wight-Barfleur Reef

Site details

UK map showing location of Wight-Barfleur Reef Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Wight-Barfleur Reef SAC/SCI/cSAC
 

Note:

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

1170 Reefs
Wight-Barfleur Reef is an area of bedrock and stony reef located in the central English Channel, between St Catherine’s point on the Isle of Wight and Barfleur Point on the Cotentin Peninsula in northern France. The SAC is approximately 65km long (east to west) and up to 26km wide. The depth within the SAC ranges from 25m to 100m, with the deepest areas to the south, and within the palaeovalley which runs along the south-east part of the SAC. The large area of bedrock reef within the SAC is characterised by a series of well-defined exposed bedrock ridges, up to 4m high. The rock is generally sandstone, mudstone and siltstone, although different regions within the SAC can be distinguished on the basis of the different textures formed by different types of rock. The southern area of the site is composed of flat, smooth, mudstone and sandstone, with overlying coarse sediment (gravels, cobbles and boulders) which in places forms stony reef. The south-eastern area of the site contains part of a large palaeochannel known as the Northern Palaeovalley, which forms a major channel running roughly north-east/south-west across the English Channel. In this area the palaeovalley remains largely unfilled by sediment due to the strong currents in the area, and is characterised by a gravel, cobble and boulder substrate which in places forms stony reef. The bedrock and stony reef areas support a diverse range of reef fauna. There are Ross corals and many types of sponges present, from encrusting sponges to larger branching types. Tube worms, anemones and tunicates (sea squirts) are also common on the large boulders and bedrock.

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

Not applicable.

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

Not applicable.

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.


 
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