Conservation objectives for land-based protected sites in England: how to use the site advice

Use Natural England's advice to protect European sites and find out if your activity or proposal may potentially impact the species and habitats within them.

Applies to England

Natural England is improving its advice on conservation objectives for European sites in England, under the Habitats Regulations 2017 as set out by its strategic standard.

European sites are:

  • designated and candidate Special Areas of Conservation
  • classified and potential Special Protection Areas

Advice for each land-based European site includes:

  • conservation objectives for the named European site
  • supplementary advice on:

    • the site’s features
    • how to apply and achieve the site’s conservation objectives

Find conservation objectives and supplementary advice for each terrestrial European site

Supplementary advice for each site will be subject to availability as it is being updated on a rolling basis.

The boundaries of all European sites can be viewed and downloaded on the MAGIC map application.

Use conservation objectives to protect European sites

Use the advice to help:

  • assess potential risk to wildlife from your activity or proposal or one you regulate
  • conserve or restore the wildlife of a site
  • with using the impact risk zones for terrestrial European sites found on the MAGIC map application

You must refer to this guide if you:

  • carry out a habitats regulations assessment (HRA) including an appropriate assessment of a new plan or project on or near to a site
  • provide information for an HRA
  • take steps to prevent the deterioration of habitats and significant disturbance of the qualifying features of a site
  • consider putting management measures in place

Supporting documents

Read about your duty to protect, conserve and restore European sites.

Natural England’s SSSI information, including their condition assessment.

Natural England’s European site improvement plans - providing an overview of the issues (both current and predicted) affecting the condition of features on each site and the priority measures needed for improvement.

Natural England’s European site theme plans - dealing with priority issues which affect multiple European sites.

The UK conservation status of habitats and species of European importance (JNCC website).


For further information, contact:


Natural England
County Hall
Spetchley Road


Telephone 0300 060 3900

Opening times: 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Find out about call charges at

Published 15 May 2015