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A to Z of Ecology I is for International sites | Matt Levan | Levan Ecology

A to Z of Ecology I is for International sites

2 November 2015

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 November 2, 2015
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No, not sites abroad but sites of international importance right here in the UK. There are three kinds it is worth knowing about.
Special Protection Areas and Special Areas for Conservation are sites that are important for the whole of Europe and are protected under European law. The difference being that Special Protection Areas are chosen just on the basis of the birds found in them. Any work that affects these areas is subject to very strict assessment to make sure there is no harm to the rare species and habitats.
Ramsar sites are areas of global importance for wetland animals and habitats, named after an international convention signed in the city of Ramsar in Iran. Most Ramsar sites also have some other legal protection.
To give just a few examples from around Wales.

  • The Severn Estuary is protected under all three designations and is important for wintering birds, fish and for habitats including the salt marshes with their distinctive plants.
  • The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Bat Sites is a Special Area of Conservation on the England Wales border that is of international importance for the rate greater and lesser horseshoe bats. It is especially important for lesser horseshoe bats having over a quarter of the UK population. Because the bats live in a number of different roosts the actual protected area is made up of several separate sites but the protection applies to impacts on any of them even if caused from outside the protected area.
  • Ramsey and St David`s Peninsula Coast is a Special Protection Area for breeding choughs, which nest on the sea cliffs.

At Levan Ecology I can carry out screening to identify if your proposed development might affect an internationally important site and work with you to avoid any damage being done. If this is of interest then please get in touch.

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