Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are identified as "special" for plants, animals or habitats, rocks, landforms or a combination of these features. SNH selects sites after detailed survey and evaluation against scientific criteria.
Natura 2000 is an EU-wide network made up of sites designated under the EC Birds and Habitats Directives. Sites designated under the Birds Directive are termed Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Sites designated under the Habitats Directive are termed Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).
Designated natural features mean the habitats, plant or animal species or geological or other features of the land for which the site was designated.
The assessment of favourable condition will be made using guidelines produced by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) drawing on the work of the national conservation agencies.
Favourable condition means that the features for which SSSIs or Natura sites are designated are in satisfactory condition; or are recovering, with the necessary management measures in place, such that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) predicts, using expert judgement, that the land will in due course reach favourable condition.