HC Deb 11 November 1999 vol 337 cc694-5W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to letter AM/15632/99 of 15 June from his Department to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what was the result of the September meeting of the member states of the Atlantic Biogeographical Region on sand dunes; and what action has been taken to protect duneland habitats. [98280]

Mr. Mullin

The UK's series of 340 candidate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) was considered with those of seven other member states at a scientific seminar in Kilkee on 6–8 September 1999. The meeting indicated that a number of habitat features, including four sand dune types, were insufficiently represented in the UK and other member state's SAC series. Duneland habitats are already afforded protection through their status as designated nationally or internationally important sites (SSSIs, candidate SACs, Ramsar sites and Special Protection Areas etc.). Furthermore, as part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, a priority habitat action plan for coastal sand dunes was published on 25 October.