List of the largest Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England

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This is a list of the largest Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England in decreasing order of size. A lower threshold of 100 hectares or one square kilometre has been used.

Sites more than 10,000 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
The Wash Norfolk / Lincolnshire Green tickY 63,135.0 156,010.0 TF550400 1972
North York Moors North Yorkshire / Cleveland Green tickY 44,087.7 108,943.1 NZ680000 1998
Humber Estuary Humberside Green tickY Green tickY 37,000.6 91,430.5 TA216184 2004
Dark Peak Derbyshire / Greater Manchester / South Yorkshire / West Yorkshire Green tickY Green tickY 31,852.9 78,710.2 SK110960 1951
Morecambe Bay Cumbria / Lancashire Green tickY 30,287.5 74,842.0 SD360700 1975
Upper Solway Flats and Marshes Cumbria / ? Green tickY Green tickY 29,950.5 74,009.3 NY160610 1988
The New Forest Hampshire / Wiltshire Green tickY Green tickY 28,947.4 71,530.6 SU298081 1959 Map
South Pennine Moors West Yorkshire / Great Manchester / Lancashire / North Yorkshire Green tickY Green tickY 20,938.1 51,739.2 SD920300 1994
Salisbury Plain Wiltshire / Hampshire Green tickY 19,689.9 48,654.8 SU070500 1975 Map
Breckland Forest Norfolk / Suffolk Green tickY Green tickY 18,078.7 44,673.4 TL819839 2000
Severn Estuary Avon / Somerset + others Green tickY Green tickY 15,950.0 39,413.3 ST480830 1976
Upper Teesdale County Durham Green tickY Green tickY 14,035.6 34,682.7 NY830320 1951
Moorhouse and Cross Fell Cumbria / County Durham Green tickY Green tickY 13,707.0 33,870.7 NY715365 1990
Dee Estuary Cheshire / Clwyd Green tickY 13,679.7 33,803.3 SJ220800 1954
Breckland Farmland Norfolk / Suffolk Green tickY 13,335.7 32,953.2 TL762783 2000
North Dartmoor Devon Green tickY Green tickY 13,413.2 33,144.7 SX580850 1952
North Exmoor Devon / Somerset Green tickY Green tickY 12,005.3 29,665.7 SS800430 1954

Sites more than 4000 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
South Dartmoor Devon Green tickY Green tickY 9,668.2 23,890.6 SX630690 1952
Hexhamshire Moors County Durham / Northumberland Green tickY 9,433.9 23,311.7 NY870530 1998 Map
Kielderhead and Emblehope Moors Northumberland Green tickY 8,254.4 20,397.1 NT700000 1971
Eastern Peak District Moors South Yorkshire / ? Green tickY Green tickY 8,094.4 20,001.7 SK270770 1955 Map
Bollihope, Pikestone, Eggleston and Woodland Fells County Durham Green tickY 7,949.2 19,642.9 NZ005300 1996 Map
North Norfolk Coast Norfolk Green tickY Green tickY 7,700.0 19,027.1 TG020440 1954
Mersey Estuary Cheshire / Merseyside Green tickY 6,702.1 16,561.2 SJ440800 1951
The Swale Kent Green tickY Green tickY 6,568.4 16,230.9 TR000670 1968
Blackwater Estuary Essex Green tickY Green tickY 5,738.0 14,178.9 TL940070 1955
South Thames Estuary and Marshes Kent Green tickY 5,449.1 13,465.0 TQ770785 1951
Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall Green tickY 4,957.0 12,249.0 SX160810 1951
Kielder Mires Cumbria / Northumberland Green tickY 4,818.0 11,905.5 NY670800 1995
Bowes Moor County Durham Green tickY 4,457.7 11,015.2 NY923104 1989 Map
Poole Harbour Dorset Green tickY 4,049.0 10,005.3 SZ000890 1964

Sites more than 2000 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Chichester Harbour Hampshire / West Sussex Green tickY Green tickY 3,695.0 9,130.5 SU760000 1970
Bridgwater Bay Somerset Green tickY 3,574.1 8,831.8 ST290480 1989
Dungeness East Sussex / Kent Green tickY Green tickY 3,241.7 8,010.4 TR050180 1951
Ashdown Forest East Sussex Green tickY 3,144.6 7,770.5 TQ450300 1953
South Exmoor Devon / Somerset Green tickY 3,132.7 7,741.1 SS880340 1992
Long Mynd Shropshire Green tickY Green tickY 2,637.6 6,517.7 SO420950 1953
Alde-Ore Estuary Suffolk Green tickY 2,554.3 6,311.8 TM394757 1952
The Quantocks Somerset Green tickY 2,506.9 6,194.7 ST140390 1970 Map
Ouse Washes Cambridgeshire / Norfolk Green tickY 2,403.0 5,937.9 TL482867 1955
Exe Estuary Devon Green tickY Green tickY 2,186.6 5,403.2 SX980845 1952
East Dartmoor Devon Green tickY Green tickY 2,088.1 5,159.8 SX695815 1976
Langstone Harbour Hampshire Green tickY 2,069.4 5,113.6 SU700030 1958

Sites more than 1500 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Thorne Crowle and Goole Moors East Riding / South Yorkshire Green tickY 1,918.6 4,741.0 SE730160 1970
Windsor Forest and Great Park Berkshire / Surrey Green tickY 1,771.2 4,376.7 SU970685 1973
Exmoor Coastal Heaths Somerset Green tickY 1,758.3 4,344.9 SS620480 1994 Map
Wyre Forest Shropshire / Hereford & Worcester Green tickY 1,753.7 4,333.5 SS750760 1955
Epping Forest Essex / Greater London Green tickY 1,728.0 4,270.0 TL475035 1953
Porton Down Wiltshire Green tickY 1,561.8 3,859.3 SU240365 1977 Map
Rutland Water Leicestershire Green tickY 1,540.1 3,805.7 SK928070 1981

Sites more than 1000 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Upper Severn Estuary Gloucestershire Green tickY 1,436.8 3,550.4 SO720060 1954 Map
Tamar - Tavy Estuary Cornwall / Devon Green tickY 1,422.3 3,514.6 SX474650 1991
Hatfield Moors South Yorkshire Green tickY 1,400.7 3,461.2 SE705060 1954
Avon Valley (Bickton to Christchurch) Dorset / Hampshire Green tickY 1,383.7 3,419.2 TU147123 1974
Braunton Burrows Devon Green tickY Green tickY 1,356.7 3,352.5 SS430350 1952
Taw-Torridge Estuary Devon Green tickY 1,336.5 3,302.6 SS470310 1981
Nene Washes Cambridgeshire Green tickY 1,310.0 3,237.1 TL200977 1959
Portsmouth Harbour Hampshire Green tickY 1,266.1 3,128.6 SU620035 1974
East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Devon Green tickY 1,111.9 2,747.6 SY050880 1952
Catcott, Edington and Chilton Moors Somerset Green tickY 1,083.0 2,676.2 ST390420 1967 Map
West Sedgemoor Somerset Green tickY 1,016.0 2,510.6 ST361258 1983 Map
Haldon Forest Devon Green tickY 1,013.2 2,503.7 SX886838 1992 Map

Sites more than 750 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Chesil and the Fleet Dorset Green tickY Green tickY 990.4 2,447.3 SY496885 1952
Fenn's, Whixall, Bettisfield, Wem and Cadney Mosses Shropshire / Wales Green tickY 948.4 2,343.5 SJ490365 1953
Tealham and Tadham Moors Somerset Green tickY 917.6 2,267.4 ST420450 1985 Map
Savernake Forest Wiltshire Green tickY 904.7 2,235.6 SU215665 1971 Map
King's Sedgemoor Somerset Green tickY 822.0 2,031.2 ST400330 1985
Grafham Water Cambridgeshire Green tickY 811.9 2,006.2 TL150680 1986
Durham Coast Cleveland / Durham Green tickY Green tickY 765.4 1,891.3 NZ400500 1960
Rye Harbour East Sussex Green tickY Green tickY 761.1 1,880.7 TQ935180 1953 Map
Studland and Godlingston Heath Dorset Green tickY Green tickY 758.9 1,875.3 SZ030845 1954

Sites more than 500 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Blue Anchor to Lilstock Coast Somerset Green tickY 742.8 1,835.5 ST033435 1971
Abberton Reservoir Essex Green tickY 716.3 1,770.0 TL970180 1955
Lynher Estuary Cornwall Green tickY 687.3 1,698.4 SX375565 1951
North Moor Somerset Green tickY 676.3 1,671.2 ST325305 1986
Cotswold Commons And Beechwoods Gloucestershire Green tickY 665.5 1,644.5 SP900130 1954 Map
Bentley Wood Wiltshire / Hampshire Green tickY 665.0 1,643.3 SU250295 1985 Map
Barle Valley Somerset Green tickY 622.9 1,539.2 SS850349 1954
Pagham Harbour Avon Green tickY Green tickY 615.9 1,521.9 SZ875970 1954
Upper Fal estuary and woodlands Cornwall Green tickY 603.5 1,491.3 SW850410 1968
Chew Valley Lake Avon Green tickY 565.2 1,396.6 ST570600 1971
Arne Dorset Green tickY Green tickY 563.4 1,392.2 ST966880 1986
Westhay Moor Somerset Green tickY 513.7 1,269.4 ST455445 1971 Map
Breydon Water Norfolk Green tickY 506.5 1,251.6 TG500075 1987 Map

Sites more than 400 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Wet Moor Somerset Green tickY 491.0 1,213.3 ST448244 1985 Map
Curry and Hay Moors Somerset Green tickY 472.8 1,168.3 ST323273 1992 Map
Dunster Park and Heathlands Somerset Green tickY 466.6 1,153.0 SS955441 2000 Map
Cranborne Chase Dorset / Wiltshire Green tickY 451.4 1,115.4 ST970180 1975 Map
Cheddar Complex Somerset Green tickY Green tickY 441.3 1,090.5 ST465538 1952 Map
Blithfield Reservoir Staffordshire Green tickY 435.6 1,076.4 SK057242 1968
Winterton to Horsey Dunes Norfolk Green tickY Green tickY 427.2 1,055.6 ST490210 1954
Wytham Woods Oxfordshire Green tickY 426.5 1,053.9 SP462083 1950

Sites more than 300 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Bratton Downs Wiltshire Green tickY Green tickY 395.8 978.0 ST925522 1971 Map
Shapwick Heath Somerset Green tickY 394.0 973.6 ST430403 1967 Map
South Gare and Coatham Sands Cleveland Green tickY 381.2 942.0 NZ582263 1971
Isle of Portland Dorset Green tickY Green tickY 369.3 912.6 SY690722 1952
Christchurch Harbour Dorset Green tickY Green tickY 353.2 872.8 SZ175915 1964
Lundy Devon Green tickY 345.0 852.5 SS135460 1976
Axmouth To Lyme Regis Undercliffs Devon / ? Green tickY Green tickY 334.6 826.8 SY300900 1952
Crook Peak to Shute Shelve Hill Somerset Green tickY Green tickY 332.2 820.9 ST385555 1952 Map
Fyfield Down Wiltshire Green tickY Green tickY 325.3 803.8 SU136709 1951 Map
Seaton Dunes And Common Cleveland Green tickY 312.1 771.2 NZ535285 1966
Pewsey Downs Wiltshire Green tickY 305.3 754.4 SU113636 1951 Map

Sites more than 250 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Church Wood, Blean Kent Green tickY 297.1 734.2 TR109603 1951
Seal Sands Cleveland Green tickY 294.4 727.5 NZ529260 1966
Lower Woods Avon Green tickY Green tickY 280.1 692.1 ST743876 1966
Greenham and Crookham Commons Berkshire Green tickY 278.6 688.4 SU490645 & SU523643 1985
Lower Fal & Helford Intertidal Cornwall Green tickY 277.7 686.2 SW860334 1997
Tees and Hartlepool Foreshore and Wetlands Cleveland Green tickY 255.6 631.6 NZ516348 & NZ505224 1997
Slapton Ley Devon Green tickY Green tickY 254.7 629.4 SX826440 2004

Sites more than 200 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Longleat Woods Somerset Green tickY 249.9 617.5 ST795435 1972 Map
Mottisfont Bats Hampshire Green tickY 231.0 570.8 SU314281 2003
Moorlinch Somerset Green tickY 226.0 558.5 ST390360 1985 Map
West Moor Somerset Green tickY 213.0 526.3 ST420220 1985 Map
Otmoor Oxfordshire Green tickY 211.6 522.9 SP575130 1952
Blagdon Lake Avon Green tickY 212.7 525.6 ST515597 1971
Ashton Court Avon Green tickY 210.3 519.7 ST553723 1998

Sites more than 150 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Berrow Dunes Somerset Green tickY 200.0 494.2 ST293520 1952
Southlake Moor Somerset Green tickY 196.1 484.6 ST370300 1985 Map
Brimsdown Hill Wiltshire Green tickY 193.7 478.6 SU831385 1951 Map
Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh Somerset Green tickY Green tickY 186.3 460.4 SS880479 1990 Map
Langmead and Weston Level Somerset Green tickY 168.8 417.1 ST353330 1991
Gordano Valley Avon Green tickY Green tickY 161.7 399.6 ST435730 1971
East Blean Woods Kent Green tickY 156.8 387.5 TR189640 1981
St. Catherine's Valley Avon Green tickY 156.1 385.7 ST760725 1997
Avon Gorge Avon Green tickY Green tickY 155.4 384.0 ST560743 1952
Black Down and Sampford Commons Somerset Green tickY 155.2 383.5 ST118161 1952
Brimble Pit and Cross Swallet Basins Somerset Green tickY 154.3 381.3 ST512505 1987

Sites more than 100 hectares in size[edit]

Site name Area of Search Reason for designation Area[ a] Grid reference Year in which notified Map[B]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Attenborough Nature Reserve Nottinghamshire Green tickY 226.6 559.9 SK514338 1982 Map
Asham Wood Somerset Green tickY 141.6 349.9 ST705460 1963
Burrington Combe Avon / ? Green tickY Green tickY 139.1 343.7 ST478583 1952
Wenlock Edge Shropshire Green tickY Green tickY 136.8 338.0 SO606995 1954
Tickenham, Nailsea and Kenn Moors Avon Green tickY 129.4 319.8 ST440700 1995
Bowerchalke Downs Wiltshire Green tickY 128.6 317.8 SU004218 1971 Map
Calstone And Cherhill Downs Wiltshire Green tickY 128.6 317.8 SU047692 1971 Map
King's Wood and Urchin Wood Avon Green tickY 128.1 316.5 ST454645 1990
East Polden Grasslands Somerset Green tickY 124.0 306.4 ST474325 1999 Map
Upper Fowey Valley Cornwall Green tickY 124.0 306.4 SX215730 1989
Potteric Carr South Yorkshire Green tickY 119.6 295.5 SE599003 1977
Cowpen Marsh Cleveland Green tickY 116.8 288.6 NZ500529 1966
River Kennet Berkshire / Wiltshire Green tickY 112.7 278.5 SU203692 1995 Map
Cheddar Reservoir Somerset Green tickY 105.4 260.4 ST441537 1972 Map
River Barle Somerset Green tickY 104.2 257.5 SS723423 1997 Map
Dozmary Pool Cornwall Green tickY Green tickY 104.2 257.5 SX195745 1986
Prior's Park & Adcombe Wood Somerset Green tickY 103.6 256.0 ST225170 1952 Map

Notes[edit]

a Data rounded to one decimal place.
B Link to maps using the Nature on the Map service provided by English Nature.