Acid rain damage to SSSIs

Almost 25% of the land area of Britain which has been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) has been damaged by acid deposition, according to a report by English Nature.1 The study warns that existing official plans to curb acid emissions are inadequate to prevent continued acidification, and will put pressure on HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) to demand further reductions from power stations and other major emission sources.

The study identified 141 SSSIs throughout Britain in which freshwater habitats have probably suffered acidification damage. Although these represent only 2.5% of Britain's 5,749 SSSIs, the proportion of the SSSI area affected is much larger at 24.1%. This is because the largest SSSIs are in upland areas which are the worst hit by acid deposition.

The areas affected by freshwater acidification are concentrated in the uplands of Wales, Dart

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