Conservation Designations

Sites of nature conservation interest are usually given a designation to protect and identify them. These designations vary greatly in the amount of protection they give. The different designations are issued by different bodies, and often for different reasons.

National Designations found within the UK

Nature Conservation Designations:

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
National Nature Reserve (NNR)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Marine Nature Reserve (MNR)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Local Designations: eg Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

Landscape Designations:

National ParkPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Heritage Coasts
National Scenic AreasPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

Other Designations:

Green BeltPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Country ParkPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Village Green Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Common Land Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

The History of Conservation Legislation in the UKPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet: an article giving some history of UK legislation since 1949, including useful sections on SSSIs.

European Designations found in the UK.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Special Protection Area (SPA)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

International Designations found in the UK

World Heritage SitePages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Ramsar SitePages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Biosphere ReservePages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

Agricultural Designations (in the UK)

England Rural Development Programme: a range of schemes which affect agricultural land in England (Similar schemes exist in other UK countries). Almost every national government land-based grant scheme can be found here.
Environmentally Sensitive AreaPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet.
Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ).
Nitrate Sensitive Area (NSA): now closed to new entries although old schemes still running - not to be confused with National Scenic Area. See instead NVZs.

Other Designations

Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM)Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Conservation AreaPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet
Rural Development Areas (RDAs)
Pages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet