Three sites proposed for Special Areas of Conservation status

Three estuaries – the Dee, Humber and Severn – have been earmarked by Defra as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to protect vulnerable wildlife and habitats. Defra has asked to the European Commission to consider SAC status for the three candidate sites, to add to the UK’s 611 SACs covering just over two and a half million hectares, established under the EU Habitats Directive.

The Sustainable Development Commission is due to report in the autumn on the potential for utilising tidal power to generate electricity both in the Severn and elsewhere. SAC designation would not rule out tidal power development, including in the Severn Estuary, in appropriate circumstances.