Conservation Management Planning

Management planning for nature conservation sites has a number of aims. These include:

To identify and evaluate the features of interest for a site
To set clear objectives for the conservation of the features of interest
To describe the site and its management
To identify issues (both positive and negative) that might influence the site
To set out appropriate strategies/management actions to achieve the objectives

Site-Specific Conservation Objectives

Conservation objectives for SACs and SPAs (i.e. sites within the Natura 2000 network) have to be set for the habitats and species for which the sites are selected. These objectives are used when carrying out appropriate assessments for plans and projects that might impact on these sites as well as for identifying necessary management.

The process is underway for setting detailed site-specific conservation objectives for these habitats and species. A list of SACs and SPAs with published detailed site-specific conservation objectives can be found here.

First order site-specific conservation objectives have been compiled for the remaining SAC and SPAs. These are based on maintaining/restoring the favourable conservation condition of the habitats and species for which sites are selected. They are available for download using the Protected Sites search tool and are replaced by detailed site-specific objective documents once these are prepared.

Conservation Plans

Other site-specific conservation objectives, dealing with habitats and species other than those for which a Natura 2000 site has been selected, may be set when a conservation management plan is compiled for that site.

Conservation plans have been drawn up for a number of sites. Such plans include descriptive information and a management framework section that outlines objectives and strategies. However, these objectives may have been superseded by the site's Conservation Objectives. Maps are produced to accompany text including indicative habitat maps. The final stage of plan preparation is a three-month period of public consultation.

Conservation statements are written as a precursor to conservation plans. They are intended to provide useful site-specific information to landowners, other land managers, local authorities and other stakeholders. They list and describe qualifying features, other habitats and species, land use and management issues. They also state generic conservation objectives, but these may have been superseded by  the site's Conservation Objectives.  A boundary map and indicative habitat map accompanies each statement.