Monday, December 15, 2003
Many of England's special sites (SSSIs) need improvementThe first definitive survey of the condition of England's legally protected wildlife + geological sites has been completed after six years by English Nature, the Government's independent wildlife advisers, and results published in a report entitled England’s best wildlife and geological sites: the condition of sites of special scientific interest in England in 2003.
The survey involved the detailed assessment of 4,112 English sites of special scientifici interest (SSSIs), covering 1,050,708 ha (2,596,000 acres), about 7% of England, and is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
Of the sites inspected, 58% of SSSIs by area were found to be in good condition, but 42% needed improvement, while 16% were classified as being in "unfavourable + declining" condition.
The government has made a commitment to ensure 95% of all SSSIs are in favourable condition by 2010. However, the head of English Nature Dr. Andy Brown, has said that this will require investment, alongside changes to legislation and the reform of environmentally-damaging policies.
The biggest threats to special sites are overgrazing, inappropriate moorland burning and coastal management, and problems with freshwater quality + quantity - in particular pollution from diffuse (hard to identify or multiple) sources.
Posted 4:35 pm by Matt Prescott