§ Mr. Martlew
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many sites of special scientific interest are located on land owned or leased by his Ministry in each region of England, Scotland and Wales; if he will give the hectarage in each case; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hanley
The total number of sites of special scientific interest—SSSIs—on land owned or leased by the Ministry of Defence is 224, broken down as 171 in England, 37 in Scotland and 16 in Wales. This includes SSSIs owned by Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Associations. Some of the larger SSSIs are owned by more than one organisation. Furthermore, the status and boundaries of SSSIs are constantly changing, as is the size of the defence estate. For these reasons the hectarage of the SSSIs on land owned or leased by my Department could be provided only at disproportionate cost.