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- Legislation and standards
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Last edited 08 Apr 2019
National nature reserve NNR
National Nature Reserves (NNR) are areas of high-quality wildlife and geology of national importance. They are legally protected areas afforded the highest conservation protection possible under UK legislation.
There are 224 National Nature Reserves in England covering 94,000 ha. The majority of National Nature Reserves are also protected by other nature conservation designations, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
National Nature Reserves are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. This act states that the sites are for, ‘…preserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of special interest in the area and/or for providing opportunities for the study of, and research into, those features’.
The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 also specified that National Nature Reserves should provide opportunities for public enjoyment and/or open-air recreation.
National Nature Reserves are designated by:
- Natural England in England.
- Scottish Natural Heritage in Scotland.
- Natural Resources Wales in Wales.
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.
The Natural England White Paper 2011 (NEWP) and Biodiversity 2020 (A strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services) detail the policy context for management of reserves. They suggest that the management of National Nature Reserves needs to be improved, co-ordinated at the landscape level, and that public connections needed to be enhanced.
- The NNR series will seek to represent the best place for England’s biodiversity and geodiversity.
- A management plan for the NNR will be kept up-to-date and will reflect the requirement of the standard.
- The management of designated features and the wide reserve is exemplary.
- The NNR contributes to safeguarding and restoring ecosystems beyond its boundaries.
- The management of the NNR provides opportunities for public enjoyment and quiet recreation.
- Research into the natural environment at an NNR is promoted and knowledge is shared.
- Communities and stakeholders are involved in the management of the NNR.
- NNR managers will work collaboratively to promote the NNR series and wider goals.
- NNRs will support opportunities to demonstrate exemplary conservation management to others.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Areas of outstanding natural beauty.
- Conservation area.
- Designated sites.
- Green belt.
- Local Nature Reserve.
- National Parks.
- Natural England.
- Protected species.
- Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).
- Sites of special scientific interest.
- Types of land.
- World heritage site.
 External references
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