HC Deb 31 October 1989 vol 159 c117W
Mr. Peter Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the Nature Conservancy Council takes non-scientific criteria into account when declaring, confirming or revoking sites of special scientific interest under the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

The Nature Conservancy Council's "Guidelines for Selection of Biological SSSIs" gives details of the scientific guidelines currently in use. The NCC proposes also to publish guidelines in respect of geological and physiographical SSSIs in the context of its geological conservation review. In the exercise of its duty, under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the council has a duty under section 37 of the Countryside Act 1968 to have regard to the needs of agriculture, forestry and the economic and social interests of rural areas.