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Protected areas

Our protected areas represent the very best of our natural landscapes, biodiversity and geodiversity, forming the cornerstone of nature conservation by supporting plants, animals and habitats that are rare or unique. The on-going protection and management of this coherent network of sites will ensure that these important natural and cultural assets can be enjoyed by this and future generations.

We have a range of protected area designations, representing features of national and international importance, both terrestrial and marine.

You can search for protected areas within Northern Ireland by following the links below where you will find associated guidance and literature.

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Searching protected areas

Search for SACs, ASSIS and other protected areas within Northern Ireland. 
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Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are those which have been given greater protection under the European legislation of The Habitat's Directive. 
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Special Protection Areas (SPAs)

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are designated under the European Commission Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. 
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You can also view all of the sites on the Natural Environment Map Viewer or download Geographic Information System (GIS) data on the digital datasets page.

 

Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs)

ASSIs are protected areas that represent the best of our wildlife and geological sites that make a considerable contribution to the conservation of our most valuable natural places. 
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Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest

Many Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) are in coastal areas and have marine features.
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Ramsar sites

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated of international importance under Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention.
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Further information on protected areas can be found by accessing the links below and any queries relating to protected areas should be directed to CDP@daera-ni.gov.uk.

 

 

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