The Natura 2000 datasets contain UK data for Candidate Special Areas of Conservation (under EU Habitats Directive 1992) and Classified Special Protection Areas (under EU Birds Directive 1979). The former category represents the first 8 datasets, the latter the remaining 3.
This dataset series does not include proposed sites (or extensions to previously submitted sites) where the data has not yet been submitted to Europe. In the final phase of designation or classification of the site listed under either Directive all the ecological information necessary to enable evaluation of the contribution of the site to overall effectiveness and coherence of the NATURA 2000 network must be provided.
The legal basis for providing the data to implement NATURA 2000 is outlined in article 4 of the Habitats Directive which defines that 'information shall include a map of the site, its name, location, extent and the data resulting from application of the criteria specified in Annex III (Stage 1) provided in a format established by the Commission in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 21.' Under Article 4 paragraph 3 of the Birds Directive, Member States are already required to 'send the Commission all relevant information so that it may take appropriate initiatives with a view to the coordination necessary to ensure that the areas provided for in paragraph 1 and 2 (of Article 4) form a coherent whole which meets the protection requirements of these species in the geographical sea and land area where this Directive applies.'
The following represents a summary of the key data types:
- Site identification;
- Site location;
- Ecological information - Habitat Types;
- Ecological information - Species - Animals (Birds, Mammals, Amphibians/Reptiles, Fishes, Invertebrates);
- Ecological information - Species - Plants;
- Ecological information - Other important species;
- Site description - General site character;
- Site description - Descriptive text fields (Quality, Vulnerability, Designation, Ownership, Documentation);
- Site Protection status;
- Relation with CORINE Biotopes;
- Impacts and Activities in and around the site;
- Map/Aerial photographs/Slides of the site;
The one data collection form type was used for all sites included in NATURA 2000 i.e. to cover classified Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and those sites that are eligible as Sites of Community Importance (SCI). There may be cases where a relationship exists between two or more NATURA 2000 sites.
The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.