Just half of England’s local sites managed with nature conservation in mind

Councils in England have reported just less than half of their local sites are being managed to maintain or enhance their nature conservation value, according to new data released by DEFRA.

Many of England’s 40,000 local sites, which are designated by local authorities in tandem with local sites partnerships, “are equal in quality” to sites of special scientific interest, without enjoying the same statutory footing, and have “an important role to play” in protecting biodiversity, according to DEFRA.

The latest England-wide survey reveals that 47% of local sites were in “positive conservation management” during the 2018/19 reporting period, marking a slight decline compared to the previous two periods.

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