SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Castlemartin Coast

image: SPA location map 


Castlemartin Coast is located on the south-west peninsular of Wales about 10 km south of Pembroke. Here 20 km of rocky coast with sea cliffs of Carboniferous Limestone is of national geological and biological interest. The exposed sea cliffs support characteristic plants such as Thrift Armeria maritima, Golden-samphire Inula crithmoides, Rock Sea-lavender Limonium binervosum and Sea Aster Aster tripolium, as well as rarities such as Goldilocks Aster A. linosyris and Small Restharrow Ononis reclinata. Behind the cliff edges, species-rich maritime grasslands occur in front of maritime heath that in turn grades into Gorse Ulex europaeus scrub in more sheltered situations. Rough winter grazing by sheep and cattle maintains the character of the maritime grasslands, and is essential for Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. At the western end, a large calcareous dune system has an extensive natural transition to wet communities in dune slacks. The cliffs, dunes and wetland habitats along this section of coast support a rich invertebrate fauna. The cliffs are of importance for breeding Chough, which exploit their immediate hinterland. They depend on the diverse mix of habitats present within the site and their continued low-intensity agricultural management. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section

This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
During the breeding season;
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, 12 pairs representing at least 3.5% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)
Over winter;
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, 24 pairs representing at least 3.5% of the wintering population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)



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