The UK SPA & Ramsar (Avian) Scientific Working Group

The SPA & Ramsar (Avian) Scientific Working Group (SPAR SWG) was established by Defra in November 2001 to provide scientific advice on matters relating to the UK Special Protection Area network.  Matters relating to avian elements of the Ramsar network were added to the Group's remit in January 2004.

Abernethy Forest SPA © Helen Baker, JNCC
The SPAR SWG comprises representatives from government, the statutory country conservation agencies and non-government organisations from the conservation, land use and marine sectors. 
The Group was established at the same time as the 2001 UK SPA Network Review was published. The culmination of eight years of work, the Review is a comprehensive assessment of the status of the UK network of SPAs in the early 1990s. Both the review process and consultations on the SPA network have highlighted the need for additional development of the network - this is an issue
that will be addressed by the SPAR Scientific Working Group.

The working practice of the Group is set out in its revised (2017) Terms of Reference, which also include an overview of the issues identified for consideration. It normally meets three times per year and is supported by a Secretariat provided by JNCC. The Secretariat organises meetings, produces minutes and Annual Reports, and maintains the membership list.


Annual Reports



Papers and minutes from meetings



















September 2004
May 2004
January 2004
September 2003
May 2003
January 2003
September 2002
May 2002

March 2002

January 2002

November 2001

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