Designation can be used to protect areas of value and scientific interest and to ensure that such areas are properly managed. This includes areas of particular value for the conservation of species, habitats, historic and cultural assets and landscapes of great value or beauty.
Designation is driven by a goal to conserve and enhance such areas and is underpinned by UK and international legislation. Development within or near designated areas is subject to additional controls.
SSSI's were first established in 1949 by the Nature Conservancy so that the conservation of important sites of natural habitat, wildlife and geological heritage could be taken into account during the planning process. Today, Natural England has responsibility for identifying and protecting SSSIs in England under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
SSSI’s include sites such as:
- Ancient woodlands.
- Species-rich grasslands.
- Coastal marshes and mudflats.
- Unique geological formations.
 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
 Special Protection Areas (SPA)
SPA's are designated under the Birds Directive to protect internationally valuable populations of bird species. They comprising inshore marine SPAs and terrestrial SPAs.
National parks are areas of the countryside designated to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and the open air recreation they facilitate.
ANOB's are designated to conserve natural beauty.
 National Nature Reserves (NNR)
NNR's are areas managed in England by Natural England for the preservation of flora, fauna, geological and physiological features of special interest.
 Marine protected areas
Marine protected areas include Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for habitats of European importance, Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds, Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and Marine Nature Reserves designated to conserve marine flora and fauna and features of special interest.
See Blue belt for more information.
 Heritage Coasts
Heritage coasts are areas of coastline managed to conserve and enhance their natural beauty, facilitate appreciation by the public, and maintain and improve their environmental health.
 Local Nature Reserves (LNR)
LNR's are areas of special local wildlife or geological interest.
 Local Sites
Other local sites where restrictions might apply include registered common land and registered town or village greens. In addition, conservation areas, tree preservation orders and listed buildings require additional consent for development.
 Global Geoparks
Global Geoparks are part of the Global Geopark Network supported by UNESCO.
 Biosphere Reserves
Biosphere reserves are designated under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.
 Related articles on Designing Buldings Wiki
- Ancient woodland.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Archaeology and construction.
- Archaeological officer.
- Blue belt.
- Conservation areas.
- Conservation officer.
- Ecological network.
- European sites.
- Historic England.
- Listed buildings.
- Local green space.
- Local Nature Reserve.
- National nature reserves.
- National parks.
- Natural England.
- Natural environment white paper.
- Nature improvement area.
- Ramsar sites.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
- Special areas of conservation.
- Special protection areas.
- Statutory authorities.
- Statutory permissions.
- Tree preservation orders.
- Village greens.
- World heritage site.
 External references
- Natural England Designations Strategy 2012.
- Natural England: Designated sites.
- Commons Act 2006.
- Guidance on competent authority coordination under the Habitats Regulations
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
Featured articles and news
The Guardian reports on the dangers of gentrification - join the debate at IHBC NewsBlogs
Our Toolbox offers easy access to the essential tools in conservation practice including links to Standards, 22 Practice notes, Consultations and much more.
Second World War structures at Scapa Flow have been recognised as being of national importance by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).
The image of a covered reservoir in London's Finsbury Park has won the best architecture photograph of the year at the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards 2016.
The London Council’s plans are given the go-ahead to management development in five unique specialist clusters.
An independent report has been issued relating to flood protection, aiming to help with flood resilience.