Conservation designation

A conservation designation is a name and/or acronym which explains the status of an area of land in terms of conservation or protection.


United Kingdom

For a comprehensive list, see Conservation in the United Kingdom

European Union

United States of America

Wildlands Project


See also

Area of special scientific interest

An area of special scientific interest or ASSI is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in Northern Ireland. ASSIs are the equivalent of sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) in the rest of the United Kingdom.

They are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in Northern Ireland are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation.

Atlantic sturgeon

The Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) is a member of the Acipenseridae family and along with other sturgeon it is sometimes considered a living fossil. The Atlantic sturgeon is one of two subspecies of A. oxyrinchus, the other being the Gulf sturgeon (A. o. desotoi). The main range of the Atlantic sturgeon is in eastern North America, extending from New Brunswick, Canada, to the eastern coast of Florida, United States. A disjunct population occurs in the Baltic region of Europe (today only through a reintroduction project). It was in great abundance when the first European settlers came to North America, but has since declined due to overfishing and water pollution. It is considered threatened, endangered, and even locally extinct in many of its original habitats. The fish can reach 60 years of age, 15 ft (4.6 m) in length and over 800 lb (360 kg) in weight.

Conservation in Iceland

Conservation in Iceland is regulated under a programme known in Icelandic as Náttúruverndarlög (conservation of nature) initiated in 1971. It offers a basis for ensuring the long-term protection of places or areas.

The Umhverfisstofnun (environmental authority) decides which areas are to be addressed.

There are six main types of conservation in Iceland:

Fólkvangar (country parks)

Friðlönd (nature reserves)

Náttúruvætti (natural monuments)

Tegundir og búsvæði (species and habitats)

Þjóðgarðar (natural parks)

Önnur svæði (other)

Conservation in Italy

This articles contains links to topics on conservation in Italy.

County Wildlife Site

County Wildlife Site (often abbreviated to CWS) is a conservation designation in the United Kingdom, which despite conferring no statutory protection onto a site, does affirm a site's importance and value for wildlife in its county context. The designation is classified by Natural England (the non-departmental public body of the UK government responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment is protected) as being a 'Local Site' designation, though sites can also be of a regional and national importance. Whilst the exact details of the selection process differ from county to county, in general local Wildlife Trusts, local authorities and other local wildlife/environmental/conservation groups collaborate to select and designate sites. Species in County Wildlife Sites are often also in that county's or the United Kingdom's national Biodiversity Action Plan.At least 40,000 sites have been established across Britain. These sites generally complement statutory protection provided by Sites of Special Scientific Interest by acting as buffer zones, wildlife corridors and raising the profile of specific wildlife sites. They are also seen as providing protection for species which would not otherwise be protected by law in the United Kingdom. They are seen as important sites for "monitoring the health of the natural environment" by central and local government bodies.Whilst there is no legislative protection provided by a County Wildlife Site designation, planning permission for work that would have an injurious or adverse effect on sites is usually not granted. An affirmation of the importance of County Wildlife Sites – and indeed all other sites with a designation in the 'Local Sites' category – can be found in Circular 06/05: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation – Statutory Obligations and Their Impact Within The Planning System, and their role in helping the UK to meet national biodiversity objectives has been recognised in Planning Policy Statement Nine. The latter affirmation of their importance in biodiversity conservation resulted in a strengthening of the presumption against development on County Wildlife Sites following the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, which requires public bodies to 'have a regard for the conservation of biodiversity'. Despite any mandatory legal requirement to do so, positive management of County Wildlife Sites to enhance their value for wildlife is encouraged, and many local Wildlife Trusts and other conservation organisations provide resources to help site owners maximise their site's potential. For example, Suffolk Wildlife Trust offers 'advisory visits' to give guidance to site owners about the kind of conservation work they should be undertaking, whilst the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire regularly surveys and undertakes volunteer work on County Wildlife Sites.

Index of conservation articles

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.

List of species occurring in Britain at a single location

The following is a list of native plant and animal species which are found in Britain, but only at a single location.

Local Landscape Designation

A Local Landscape Designation is a non-statutory conservation designation used by local government in some parts of the United Kingdom to categorise sensitive landscapes which are, either legally or as a matter of policy, protected from development or other man-made influences. A local authority will typically produce a Landscape Assessment to define such areas.

An LLD may also be known as an Area of Great Landscape Value, Special Landscape Area or Area of Special Landscape Importance.

Marine nature reserve

Marine nature reserve (MNR) is a conservation designation officially awarded by a government to a marine reserve of national significance.

Mynydd Llangynidr

Mynydd Llangynidr is a mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park largely in the county of Powys, south Wales. Its southern slopes extend into the northernmost parts of the county borough of Blaenau Gwent. It is named from the village of Llangynidr which sits in the valley of the River Usk to the north of it. It is essentially an undulating plateau rising in the west to a height of 557m at Garn Fawr at OS grid ref SO 123151. A secondary high point is achieved at a point marked by a trig point at SO 147159. To the north the hill overlooks the valleys of Dyffryn Crawnon and Cwm Claisfer, themselves tributary valleys of the Usk. The shallow upper valley (Cwm Carneilw) of the Ebbw River reaches into the plateau in the southeast whilst the upper reaches of the Sirhowy Valley and its tributary the Nant Trefil define its western margins. A further tributary, the Nant Milgatw, reaches in from the south whilst the sharp edge of Rassau Industrial Estate also defines a part of its southern margin. Passing east across the B4560, the hill merges with Mynydd Llangatwg which has a similar character.

National Conservation Area

National Conservation Area is a designation for certain protected areas in the United States. They are nature conservation areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the National Landscape Conservation System.

Restrictions vary between these conservation areas, but generally they are not leased or sold under mining laws and motorized vehicle use is restricted, unlike many other BLM areas.

National scenic area

A national scenic area (NSA) is a conservation designation used in several countries.

National scenic area (Scotland)

National scenic area (NSA) is a conservation designation used in Scotland, and administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The designation's purpose is to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to protect them from inappropriate development. There are currently 40 national scenic areas (NSAs) in Scotland, covering 13% of the land area of Scotland. The areas protected by the designation are considered to represent the type of scenic beauty "popularly associated with Scotland and for which it is renowned". As such they tend to be mainly found in the remote, mountainous areas of Scotland, with an SNH review in 1997 noting a potential weakness of national scenic areas was that the original selection placed undue emphasis on the mountainous parts of Scotland. National scenic areas do however also cover seascapes, with approximately 26% of the total area protected by the designation being marine. The designation is primarily concerned with scenic qualities, although designated national scenic areas may well have other special qualities, for example related to culture, history, archaeology, geology or wildlife. Areas with such qualities may be protected by other designations (e.g. national nature reserve) that overlap with the NSA designation.National scenic areas are designated by the IUCN as Category V Protected Landscapes, the same international category as Scotland's two national parks. Within the United Kingdom the NSA designation is regarded as equivalent to the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) of England and Wales.The national scenic area designation does not have a high profile when compared to other conservation designations used in Scotland: in 2018 a survey by the National Trust for Scotland found that only 20 % of Scots were "definitely aware" of national scenic areas, compared to 80 % for National Parks.

Natural Heritage Area

Natural Heritage Area (Irish: Limistéar Oidhreachta Nádúrtha) is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in Ireland. The Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 makes legal provision for the designation and protection of a national network of Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs).

The designation is currently used by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to protect wildlife habitats, such as raised bogs. 75 raised bogs were designated for protection in 2004 under the Wildlife Act.

Nitrate vulnerable zone

A nitrate vulnerable zone is a conservation designation of the Environment Agency for areas of land that drain into nitrate polluted waters, or waters which could become polluted by nitrates. Nitrate vulnerable zones were introduced by the UK government in response to the EU mandate that all EU countries must reduce the nitrate in drinking water to a maximum of 50 mg/l. The NVZs covered large areas of land that had been identified as exceeding or being at risk of exceeding 50 mg NO3/l.

NVZs have fairly relaxed rules on fertiliser application involving not fertilising at certain times of the year (during the winter when runoff is greatest and uptake by plants at a minimum), reducing the amount of fertiliser used, and changing the times when animal waste is applied to the land (waste must be held in tanks over the period when it cannot be applied). Farmers who do not adhere to these restrictions can be fined by the Government. The restrictions are within the guidelines of GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) and so the farmers are expected to adhere without receiving any subsidies.

These NVZs are part of the scheme involved in NSAs (nitrate sensitive areas) which are assigned on a farm scale basis and have much more stringent rules on nitrate application and also include remuneration for profits lost from keeping to the rules.

Site-based conservation

Site-based conservation is an approach to nature conservation that relies on the designation of important or representative examples of sites supporting key habitats or species, such as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) or Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Whilst a rational way of ensuring that the very best resources are protected, it is open to a number of criticisms:

It tends to focus resources and protection on only the best sites.

With a changing climate, the best sites now may not be the best ones to protect for the future.

Wildlife is ignorant of lines drawn on maps by humans.On balance, site-based conservation is an essential part of nature conservation, along with initiatives such as environmental subsidies and planning controls that protect biodiversity across the whole landscape (the broad and shallow approach), and the more holistic ideas of landscape-scale conservation.

Site of Special Scientific Interest

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation. The acronym "SSSI" is often pronounced "triple-S I".

Swanpool Wood and Furnace Grove

Swanpool Wood and Furnace Grove (grid reference SO541107) is a 13.59-hectare (33.6-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom), in Gloucestershire in South West England. The site is listed in the 'Forest of Dean Local Plan Review' as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).

Conservation biology
Conservation areas
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