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Technical Note: Improve the condition of protected nature sites

Improve the condition of protected nature sites

DESCRIPTION:

Proportion of natural features on protected nature sites which are in satisfactory condition; or are recovering, with the necessary management measures in place.

SOURCE:

Data is collected by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) staff and independent consultants under contract to SNH. SNH publish the figures as Official Statistics.

Elements of assessment data generated through Site Condition Monitoring is currently publicly available through the internet on the SNH website at: http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/official-statistics/official-stats/sites-favourable/.Data will be published annually in May.

The indicator will be measured using the results from the Scottish element of the UK-wide Common Standards Monitoring programme, known as Site Condition Monitoring (SCM) in Scotland. SCM aims to assess the condition of the majority of designated natural features at least once every six years (on a rolling programme) and all designated features at least once every twelve years. More frequent assessments may be undertaken where sites, or the designated features on them, are perceived to be more vulnerable.

Site Condition Monitoring is carried out using agreed UK-wide standards which are published in JNCC's (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Common Standards Monitoring Guidance http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2201.

Up to date results of Site Condition Monitoring can also be found at: http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/get-interactive/data/protected-nature-sites/

DEFINITIONS:

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.

BASELINE AND PAST TRENDS:

The baseline is the 2007 data point. The value is 76.0%.

Percentage of natural features on protected nature sites found to be in favourable condition, as at 31 March, 2005, 2007-2018:

Year

Percentage

2005

71.4%

2007

76.0%

2008

77.5%

2009

78.4%

2010

78.0%

2011

77.2%

2012

77.2%

2013

78.1%

2014

78.8%

2015

79.3%
2016

80.4%

2017

80.3%

2018 79.7%

CRITERIA FOR RECENT CHANGE ARROW:

This evaluation is based on: any difference in the percentage within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

FUTURE ISSUES OR REVIEWS:

No issues.

ASSOCIATED TARGET:

No associated target.