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Location United Kingdom, East Anglia
Central coordinates 0o 40.77' East  52o 25.31' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 39,284 ha
Altitude 10 - 55m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A large, fragmented area of heathland, forest and arable farmland, containing a wide variety of habitats. The IBA supports a flora, characterized by continental species, that is unique in Britain,and is important for a range of breeding heathland speciesand wintering Anas strepera.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Burhinus oedicnemus breeding  2007  205 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  2004  352 males only  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Wood Lark Lullula arborea breeding  2006  364 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Breckland Birds Directive 39,433 is identical to site 39,284  
Breckland Farmland Site of Special Scientific Interest 13,393 protected area contained by site 14,552  
Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest 18,126 protected area contained by site 18,300  
Stanford Training Area Site of Special Scientific Interest 4,678 protected area contained by site 4,681  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
military -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Breckland. Downloaded from on 31/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife