§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the number of sites which meet the criteria for designation and protection under the European Community directive on the conservation of wild birds; what is the number of sites so designated; and what is the site next to be designated and the date on which he expects to designate it.
§ Mr. Trippier
The NCC has identified 91 potential special protection areas in England and Wales, of which 22 have been designated. A total of 128 potential sites have been identified in Scotland of which 18 have now been designated, including another seven announced by my noble Friend the Minister of State yesterday.
I cannot forecast when the next designation will be announced. A number of proposals are currently being considered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. The next designation will take place as soon as the necessary consultations have been satisfactorily completed.