Creating a Protected Area Network for nature recovery in England.

Published online
31 Aug 2023
Published by
Natural England
Content type

Galbraith, C. A. & Stroud, D. A.

Publication language
UK & England


This think-piece builds on previous work undertaken for Natural England and addresses the range of practical issues involved in creating: "a large and 'Ecologically Connected' Network of Protected Sites / Areas as a key component of the 30 x 30 target and the Nature Recovery Network [NRN], that is actively monitored and adaptively managed to ensure its effectiveness at conserving bio-geodiversity in the face of dynamic change". The current suite of SSSIs forms an important starting point for the creation of a national Ecologically Connected Network of protected sites/areas, (ECN), foreseen as a key element of the wider Nature Recovery Network (NRN). Whilst Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are spread across England, it has been long recognised that many are too small (especially in the lowlands), and that their distribution is typically fragmented. Several factors in the legislative and policy landscape mean that there is an opportunity now to address these issues, tackle existing threats, and to begin to create an ECN.

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