Third SPA cover SPA Review 2016

Since 2009 the statutory nature conservation bodies have led the SPA and Ramsar Scientific Working Group’s (SPAR SWG)work to undertake a third Review of the UK Special Protection Area (SPA) network as requested by Ministers. 


This activity has:

i.      further developed guidance and principles to assist the application of UK SPA selection guidelines;

ii.     assessed the adequacy of the SPA network for relevant species;

iii.    assessed gaps in data availability for species and made recommendations as to how these might be filled;

iv.   considered issues in relation to the inclusion of cropped habitats in SPAs;

v.    reviewed relevant EU case-law; and

vi.   undertaken an audit of the content of the network in the 2000s, assessing change since the second review in the 1990s.


This network of sites of international importance is central to the conservation of UK birds.  The Review documents the work of the country agencies to implement this protected area network, especially over the last 16 years. 


It also presents an assessment of current population sizes within individual sites, documents network-scale changes over a decade, and assesses future conservation needs.


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