§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions have taken place between Government Departments, and agencies such as English Nature, and local authorities about possible conflicts between local authorities' duties to protect and maintain public rights of way and the duty under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to protect sites of special scientific interest.
§ Mr. Baldry
No such discussions have taken place, although my Department is aware of correspondence between English Nature and highway authorities. Such authorities have a duty of care when operating within sites of special scientific interest and are advised to consult English Nature informally before undertaking operations in sensitive areas such as this.