Management of Natura sites

NatureScot works with owners and occupiers of Natura sites to ensure that natural heritage interests are managed appropriately.

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) often reflect the influence of people’s past and present activities in an area.

Designation as an SAC or SPA usually won’t make a big difference to how a site is managed. But changes are sometimes needed to protect the natural heritage interest or to prevent a site from deteriorating.

We work with Natura site owners and occupiers to ensure the protected interests are managed appropriately. Sources of funding to help with this process include the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP)

Many Natura sites are also designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Find out about protection and management of SSSIs.

Terrestrial and marine SACs are protected in the same way. Read about the protection of Natura sites. Some additional management arrangements apply to marine SACs and SPAs, however. Find out more about marine Natura sites.

Our Site Condition Monitoring programme informs the ongoing management of Natura sites, and helps to ensure that habitats and species of interest are properly maintained over the long term. It also contributes to regular reporting on the UK’s progress in implementing the European Habitats Directive and Birds Directive.

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