Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive.
Article 3 of the Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a European network of important high-quality conservation sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving the 189 habitat types and 788 species identified in Annexes I and II of the Directive (as amended). The listed habitat types and species are those considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds).
Of the Annex I habitat types, 78 are believed to occur in the UK. Of the Annex II species, 43 are native to, and normally resident in, the UK.
This site is part of a ria system in South-West England that supports a wide range of communities representative of marine inlets and shallow bays. The rias of the Fal and Helford have only a low freshwater input and as a result the area contains a range of fully marine habitats from extremely sheltered in the inlets to the wave-exposed, tide-swept open coast. There is a particularly diverse algal flora and a number of warm-water species are present. The area supports extensive and rich sediment communities, which include the largest and most south-westerly maerl Phymatolithon calcareum bed in the UK.
Please use this link to a map to obtain further information regarding the prolixity of the SAC to the proposed project use this map.