HC Deb 16 March 2001 vol 364 c745W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he is taking to provide additional protection to sites of ancient woodland under the sites of special scientific interest system. [153679]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth

The provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 which give greater protection to sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) came into force on 30 January 2001. The Act gives English Nature power to tackle neglect of sites and to make management agreements to help fund positive management. It also introduced increased penalties and a general offence of damage to the features of an SSSI. English Nature is also considering whether further sites should be notified as SSSIs.