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IPA Factsheet - Avon Gorge
Site code
CountryUnited Kingdom
Administrative regionSouth West (North Somerset)
Central co-ordinates51o 28' N / 2o 37' W map
Altitude9 - 108

 Site Description Avon Gorge is an example of Tilio-Acerion forest in south-west England; here found on the limestone cliffs and scree slopes of a large river gorge. The Avon gorge is of ecological importance for a number of reasons. It contains habitats suitable for uncommon plants, such as green hellebore Helleborus viridis, fly orchid, Ophris insectifera, and honewort, Trinia glauca.. There is a high concentration of small-leaved lime Tilia cordata and small groves of yew Taxus baccata also occur on some of the stonier situations. Species-rich transitions to scrub and grasslands are associated with the woodland. The Avon gorge is a sorbus hotspot, containing many rarities and 2 endemic species.The unique landscape varies from mixed woodlands and grasslands of great interest to rugged rock faces, which plunge down to a glistening river. The cliff faces are home to rare wildflowers such as the Bristol rock-cress Arabis scabra and Bristol onion Allium sphaerocephalon

 Botanical Significance Noted for vascular and habitat interest. Two of the Sorbus species are endemic to the Gorge and surrounding woodland.

 General Habitat Description Woodland and Forest, Grassland and Tall Forb, Inland Surface Water. Land use: Tourism/recreation, Nature conservation/research, Forestry.

Land use

Land use% CoverLevel
nature conservation and researchUnknown

Threatened Species

Species NameIPA Assess.Species Assess.AbundanceData qualityCriteria
Sorbus bristoliensis Wilmott20072007unknownunknownA(iii)
Sorbus eminens E.F.Warburg20072007unknownunknownA(iii)
Sorbus wilmottiana E.F.Warburg20072007unknownunknownA(iii)

Botanical Richness

EUNIS level 2 code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.% of indicator speciesNo. SpeciesNational BiotopeData qualityCriteria
G1 Broadleaved deciduous woodland2008200800unknownB

Threatened Habitats

IPA Habitat code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.AreaData qualityCriteria
9180* Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines*200720070unknownCi


DesignationProtected Area NameRelationship with IPAOverlap with IPA
Special Area of ConservationAvon Gorge Woodlands protected area overlaps with IPA89
Site of Special Scientific InterestAvon Gorgeprotected area overlaps with IPA93
National Nature ReserveAvon Gorgeprotected area is adjacent to IPA0
National Nature ReserveLeighprotected area overlaps with IPA47


TypeDescriptionYear startedYear finishes
Species Management PlanSorbus bristoliensis
Species Management PlanSorbus eminens
Species Management PlanSorbus wilmottiana


abandonment/reduction of land managementunknown
consequences of invasive species (plant)unknown
development (recreation/tourism)unknown

 Conservation Issues Scrub encroachment.

Contact Information

ContactContact Type
John CreweSite report compiler