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Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: 2006 Report 2006


Legislation in the United Kingdom makes provision for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) designated for their biological or geological features. By March 2005, there were 6,569 SSSIs in England, Scotland and Wales, and a further 225 Areas of Special Scientific Interest in Northern Ireland (ASSIs), covering between them over 2.4 million hectares.

The United Kingdom has also entered into international commitments to establish a network of protected sites under the Ramsar Convention. Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are required to be established under the EC Birds and Habitats Directives respectively. In many cases, the same area of land is protected by more than one designation; the basic building block is the SSSI or ASSI, which underpins the vast majority of the international site designations.

The basis of the common standards for site monitoring is that those special features for which the site was designated are assessed to determine whether they are in a satisfactory condition. The nature conservation component which is assessed is therefore not the site itself, but the feature (e.g. habitat, species, or earth science feature) for which it was designated. Sites may have one, two, or several interest features on them. Key attributes of the feature (e.g. extent, quality, supporting processes) are identified and targets set for each. Each attribute is then measured and compared against the target value set. If all the targets are met, the feature is in favourable condition. Human activities and other factors which are likely to be affecting the site adversely, and the conservation measures taken to maintain or restore the site, are also recorded.

These four documents draw together results across the SSSI/ASSI/SPA/SAC site networks as a whole, up to March 2005. The summary introduces the reporting process and provides a condensed set of results. The subsequent three parts (Geology, Species and Habitats) present the detailed data collated in 44 reporting categories. A standardised set of presentations and graphics have been created for each reporting category which portray the detailed results. In total, 12,937 feature assessments carried out between April 1998 and March 2005 were reported.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2006··

Williams, J.M. (Editor) (2006) Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report. Peterborough, JNCC.

JNCC and the country nature conservation agencies commenced a programme to develop guidance across the range of species, habitat and earth science features which occur on UK protected sites.

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2019·08·19

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

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