HL Deb 08 October 2003 vol 653 cc59-60WA
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.

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