Carmarthen Bay Estuaries SAC

The Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries SAC was originally proposed to the European Union in June 1995 as the smaller Burry Inlet: Saltmarsh and Estuary Special Area of Conservation.  Following an EU review of member state’s proposals, Britain revised its initial site list, adding features and enlarging some sites.  As part of this process, this site was significantly enlarged, several habitat and species features were added and it was renamed Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries.

The SAC was formally designated in December 2004 for having excellent European examples of six of the habitat and five of the species conservation features of interest listed in the Habitats Directive.


  • Estuaries
  • Large shallow inlets and bays
  • Atlantic salt meadows
  • Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand
  • Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide
  • Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time


  • Allis shad Alosa alosa (below top right)
  • Twaite shad Alosa fallax (below top left)
  • River Lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis (below bottom left)
  • Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus (below bottom right)
  • Otter Lutra lutra

Summary information about the site provided to the European Commission by the UK is available from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee website here.

A summary map showing the indicative distribution of the habitat features is available here (1Mb pdf).


Salt-marsh, Burry Inlet  (c) Blaise Bullimore >>>>>>>>