SPA description
(information as published 2001)


image: SPA location map 


The Sandlings SPA lies near the Suffolk coast between the Deben Estuary and Leiston. In the 19th century, the area was dominated by heathland developed on glacial sandy soils. During the 20th century, large areas of heath were planted with blocks of commercial conifer forest and others were converted to arable agriculture. Lack of traditional management has resulted in the remnant areas of heath which have survived successional changes and the consequent spread of bracken Pteridium aquilinum, shrubs and trees. The recent conservation management work, however, is resulting in their restoration. The heaths support both acid grassland and heather-dominated plant communities with dependent invertebrate and bird communities of conservation value. Woodlark Lullula arborea and Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus have also adapted to breeding in the large blocks of conifer forest, using areas that have recently been felled and recent plantation, as well as areas managed as open ground.


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;
Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, 109 pairs representing at least 3.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1992)
Woodlark Lullula arborea, 154 pairs representing at least 10.3% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1997) 



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