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England’s SSSIs are in fantastic shape

10 January 2011

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman recently announced that 95% of England’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are in a favourable or recovering condition, up from just 57% in 2003.  It follows seven years of hard work by Defra, in conjunction with Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

As well as protecting wildlife, these sites also give opportunities for rural businesses, space for recreation and scientific research, and safeguard essential services such as clean water, flood management, carbon storage, pollination and food production.

Chief Executive of Natural England, Helen Phillips believes this turnaround is one of the great success stories in conservation in recent decades and has safeguarded the future of many rare flora, fauna and landscapes.  It is essential to preserve our remaining natural heritage as wildlife and geological features are under continued pressure from development, pollution, climate change and unsustainable land management – this announcement goes a long way to ensuring England’s SSSIs are headed in the right direction.

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