Background to SAC site selection

These pages provide an explanation of the SAC selection process in the UK, with descriptions of interest features and individual site accounts, together with supplementary information. They replace JNCC Report, No. 270, 'The Habitats Directive: selection of Special Areas of Conservation in the UK', which was published in 1997.


They are updated whenever the UK submits new data about candidate SACs to the EC. Review version history.
To navigate the sections of the 'background to site selection' pages, use the numbered links below. Within each section is a next & previous link, for navigating through on a 'page by page' basis.
The background to site selection pages are also available in full as a PDF document. (621 KB)

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1.1 Introduction
1.1.1 The Habitats Directive
1.1.2 Special areas of conservation (SACs)
1.1.3 Protection and management of SACs

1.2 Habitats and species of European interest in the UK
1.2.1 Habitat types of European Interest
1.2.2 Species of European interest

1.3 Establishment of SACs
1.3.1 Process for the selection and designation of SACs
1.3.2 The collective EU process and criteria for site selection

1.4 Assessment within biogeographical regions
1.4.1 The Atlantic Biogeographical Region
1.4.2 Selection of sites within the Atlantic Biogeographical Region
1.4.3 EC guidance on the Biogeographical region seminars

1.5 Site selection criteria and principles in the UK
1.5.1 Summary of site selection criteria and principles
1.5.2 Considerations in the UK approach to site selection
1.5.3 Identifying SAC boundaries
1.5.4 UK interpretation of site selection criteria and principles

1.6 History of the UK site selection process
1.6.1 The role of Government
1.6.2 The role of the statutory conservation agencies
1.6.3 Selection of terrestrial and inshore marine sites
1.6.4 Selection of offshore sites
1.6.5 UK SACs and the Natura 2000 network

1.7 Explanation of the accounts


This website publication should be cited as:

McLeod, CR, Yeo, M, Brown, AE, Burn, AJ, Hopkins, JJ, & Way, SF (eds.) (2005) The Habitats Directive: selection of Special Areas of Conservation in the UK. 2nd edn. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.