North Somerset & Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

The North Somerset & Mendip Bats SAC is grounded on and in the Cheddar Complex SSSI.  The SAC designation protects all the listed habitats and species.

Links to details: 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies: on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia);   Cheddar Complex SSSI;   9180 Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines; 1303 Lesser horseshoe bat  Rhinolophus hipposideros; 1304 Greater horseshoe bat  Rhinolophus ferrumequinum;   8310 Caves not open to the public.

N.B. Everything listed in the SAC is protected, not only bats: 

  • Limestone grasslands and scrub, supported by the

  • Cheddar Complex SSSI.

  • Ash-lime woodlands on the slopes, screes and ravines.

  • Lesser horseshoe bats.

  • Greater horsehoe bats.

  • Caves not open to the public.


SAC is a top-tier statutory designation to protect important high-quality conservation sites that make a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation.  Example of present-day biodiversity finds in the gorge, link to trees page on this website

SACs are part of the European Natura 2000 network of nature protection areas.  This Natura 2000 network is "the centrepiece of EU nature & biodiversity policy."   "The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats."  

SACs are strictly protected under the Habitats Regulations, (page on this website).

More about SACs:


Page last updated 06.02.2013