|Site of Special Scientific Interest|
Location within East Sussex
|Area of Search||East Sussex|
|Coordinates||50°50′20″N 0°20′38″E / 50.839°N 0.344°ECoordinates: 50°50′20″N 0°20′38″E / 50.839°N 0.344°E|
|Area||3,501 ha (8,650 acres)|
|Designated||2 February 1999|
|Natural England website|
The area known as the Pevensey Levels is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is an area of English marshland situated in East Sussex between Bexhill in the east, Pevensey in the west and Hailsham in the north. The site covers an area of 8,650.9 acres (3,500.9 ha).
The area is a conservation area owned jointly by Natural England and the Sussex Wildlife Trust. There are many nationally rare plants and invertebrates, including the fen raft spider. The site is very fragile and general access is not permitted
At the end of the last glaciation, about 10,000 years ago, rising sea-levels flooded the lower reaches of the numerous coastal river valleys in the Pevensey area. This resulted in the creation of a tidal estuary with a wide bay. The present Levels were under water.
Over hundreds of years, the Levels gradually changed from saltmarsh to reedy meadows although much of the area was still under water as recently as 700 to 800 years ago.
"SSSI Citation — Pevensey Levels" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 2008-10-12.