Site of Nature Conservation Interest
) is a designation used in many parts of the United Kingdom
to protect areas of importance for wildlife and geology at a county scale. In other parts of the country the same designation is known by various other names, including Site of Importance for Nature Conservation
), County Wildlife Site
and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation
. Overall, the designation is referred to as a "non-statutory wildlife site", or a "Local Wildlife Site" as part of Local Site systems, which include Local Geological Sites including Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS). The designated sites are protected by local authorities
from most development.
Selection of the sites is usually done by the County Wildlife Trust
, RIGS Groups
or Geology Trusts
, or their equivalents. For example, in Kent
, local wildlife sites are identified by the Kent Wildlife Trust
). Selection is objective and is normally based upon a recent survey specifically designed for SNCI, but selection on the basis of existing, published information may also occur. The approach is similar to that used for the selection of biological Sites of Special Scientific Interest
(SSSI), but the thresholds are lower.
Selection is primarily for habitats of inherent wildlife interest, but some sites may be selected for supporting rare or scarce species of plants or animals outside such habitats. The areas concerned may be areas of 'natural' habitats, or... Read More