§ Lord Fearn
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many Sites of Special Scientific Interest are situated in north-west England, and where such sites are located. [HL4515]
§ Lord Whitty
The North West Government Region contains 428 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) wholly or partly within its boundary. The table below provides a breakdown of the number of SSSIs by county, or counties in cases where the sites cross county boundaries within the region. A number of these SSSIs will also cross regional boundaries.
County Name No. of SSSIs Cheshire 60 Cumbria 270 Greater Manchester 18 Lancashire 63 Merseyside 13
County Name No. of SSSIs Cumbria and Lancashire 2 Lancashire and Merseyside 1 Lancashire and Greater Manchester 1 Total 428
English Nature has a statutory duty to notify land in England which in its opinion is of special interest, by reason of its flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features. Sites are selected on the basis of scientific criteria set out in publicly available guidelines prepared and maintained by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). Confirmation of SSSIs in England is carried out by the full council of English Nature at meetings which members of the public may attend.
Information on the location of SSSIs is available from the English Nature website www.english-nature.org.uk or MAGIC, the Multi-Agency Geographic Information for the Countryside, www.magic.gov.uk.