SPA network - a second review


Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified under Article 4 of the Birds Directive (see the 2009 codified version). They cover rare and vulnerable birds listed in Annex I to the Birds Directive (Annex 1), and regularly occurring migratory species.  In the early 1990s, a review of the SPA network in the UK culminated with the publication of the 2001 SPA Review. A second targeted review of the current UK network of terrestrial and coastal SPAs is now underway.


This second review will be delivered in three phases:


Phase One

Assembling up-to-date information and developing guidance to help review the SPA network. This will be undertaken by the UK SPA and Ramsar Scientific Working Group with completion expected by late 2011.


Phase Two

This is the actual review of the SPA network using the information established in Phase One. The work will be undertaken by Defra and the devolved administrations.


Phase Three

Largely administrative work to ensure all citations and documents are up-to-date.


Most bird data have been gathered for Phase One and work on how to present this information to the countries is in progress.  Updates on this preparatory work will appear in future editions of Nature News


Contact File


Ant Maddock

Senior Biodiversity Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1733 866936


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