Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report

Common Standards Monitoring Six Year Report 2006Legislation 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. 


The first part is an introduction and executive summary which draws together results across the site networks as a whole. The subsequent three parts 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.
This report is available in three versions:
1. Printed version  Buy online from NHBS
2. Downloadable PDF available below
3. Online Summary and detailed results
Recommended citation:
Williams, J.M., ed. 2006.  Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report.  Peterborough, JNCC. 


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