Natural England, the controlling board members




James Cross, chief executive officer, Natural England


Natural England's new chief executive officer from the 1st of September 2014, is responsible for leading efficiency and performance improvements across financial and corporate services. They are also in charge of seeing through reform in line with the agreed strategic direction. The chief executive also oversees staff development initiatives. We hope that all of the above will be conducted in accordance with Human Rights Act. James was previously the CE for the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).



The Natural England Board has corporate responsibility for ensuring that Natural England fulfils the aims and objectives set by the Secretary of State. The main roles of the Board are to establish Natural England’s strategy, approve direction and review performance of the organisation. As a local and national authority, they are bound by Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, being that they must not violate any of the Articles of the European Convention. In particular they must act without discrimination and fairly, such as to comply with Articles 14 and 6.


There have though been cases where bias has been a feature of case handling. We are following a live case at the moment, being handled by Cath Jackson and Sue Beale, where permissions had been agreed and a landowner at great financial cost made adjustments, but then having agreed those adjustments would be acceptable, Natural England then sought to prosecute the landowner, even where he had permission from the local council for certain works, and there was no danger to any wildlife being caused by other works, which were to protect grazing animals, that otherwise might escape and either drown, or become a danger to nearby road users. 


Such measures are legal at all times according to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. But it is misfeasance in public office, if one does not do what the position of office requires. In addition, Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 may apply where an officer of Natural England fails to perform a duty, with the intention of causing a person loss, or even if the failure puts the target at risk as to loss. All of this raises serious questions as to the manner of operating of Natural England officers. That the target is not native to England may also be a live issue - as in Jones v. Swansea City Council [1990] 1 W.L.R. 


We have heard on the 15th September 2013 that the actions of Natural England appear to have been the trigger (instrumental) for what may be racially motivated attacks on the land. A person or persons unknown came onto the land and released a number of deer - causing chaos, and if Natural England are to be believed - we are sure they will now be chasing the culprits for intentionally releasing animals in such manner as to cause damage to this so-called SSSI. Will they? Of course not. Because the culprits are most probably Sussex locals who have been egging Natural England to have a go at what is as far as we can see generous acts of kindness. Enterprise such as this is encouraged by Natural England in the Lake District (see Telegraph story below), but not in Sussex when the owner is not native to England. Natural England's policies are thus discriminatory plain and simple.




One problem that we have identified, is that Natural England's agenda to gain additional land for wildlife is in contrast to the need to conserve and record history for future generations. This is a function of English Heritage and the County Archaeologist. As of October 2014, we have learned that Natural England brought the prosecution against a farmer on the Pevensey Levels, in denial of any history attaching to the site.


This is an affront to the men and women that gave their lives during the Second World War. In particular, RAF Wartling and RAF Pevensey were and are home to the world's first ever early warning radar station complex known as a Home Chain. Now it appears that that Ms Beale and Ms Jackson (Seen below) wish to re-write history, in asking a farmer to remove all evidence of the works that were carried out on farmland between 1939 and 1955 by the Ministry of Defence. Another problem here is that Wealden District do not keep a list of sites or buildings of local historic importance, according to Bob Standley, the Leader of the Council.





Sue Beale (left) and Cath Jackson (nee Laing, right) - on site Friday the 20th September 2013. This matter is ongoing and still the subject of investigation against possible human rights violations.





Natural England have refused to indemnify a landowner, should any of their requirements cause him loss. While requiring the landowner, to, in effect, cease farming, something that Natural England refute, naturally, but what else do you call it when you impose conditions that are so unreasonable that farming could never be economically viable. Natural England have made no offer of compensation under the Agri-Environment Scheme, as to the implied message. 


The site in question is claimed to still have significant numbers of Lapwings, according to their pet ornithologist, Allan Drewitt, who on Monday the 23rd of September 2013, told District Judge Stephen Nicholls that in his opinion fencing near Wartling village would have an effect on the nesting of the species. In reality, fencing in that location is commonly thought to have no effect whatsoever, mainly because Lapwings like open spaces - and in this location the plot in question is bounded by other plots with fences. Hence, Lapwings would go nowhere near - according to Mr Dewitt's own admission as to the species preferences.


It was alleged that Natural England were deliberately not keeping SSSI information up to date, so that when giving evidence, so called independent experts, could pull-the-wool over the eyes of the Judge. How a witness can be independent and be employed by the organisation bringing the case is beyond us. Clearly, if someone is called to give evidence by their boss, he or she is bound to answer as their employer would want.


Ignoring fences for now, it is a fact that the area in question is overrun by Magpies. Magpies are known to feed on the eggs of other birds and their young. Our operative counted 21 magpies during an early morning drive along the Pevensey Levels. The area is literally overrun by them, and now apparently, the giant fen raft spider.


According to Mr Drewitt, the numbers of Lapwings in 1990 were 6,000 birds, reducing to 3,500 birds by 2008. In this case, although Judge Nicholls asked some questions as to the position with up to date statistics. Allan Drewitt simply referred to the out of date statistics. To our mind that is a failure to advise. In a criminal court, a failure to advise may be quite a serious matter - as per the Fraud Act 2006: "an omission that might cause loss to another."


Natural England do not like the public having knowledge of raw data for any area, which seems to us to be to keep artificial controls alive on sites that are no longer of any scientific interest. How this might affect their funding from central government, or even the European Union is a matter for investigation. The advantages to secrecy is that Natural England would keep all their nice cozy jobs, and benefit from funding that they were not entitled to. In addition, they would then be able to avoid paying compensation to farmers, where NE might like to use land to try and increase numbers of rare birds. 


Increasing number of animal unnaturally is not the function of Natural England (NE) and is an interference with nature, which in this case seems to be taking its own course despite the intervention of NE. Letting nature take its course is a view shared by English Heritage, when it came to cliff erosion, and refusing to shore up chalk cliffs to prevent coastguard cottages falling into the sea.




There are though common law and statutory duties, that Natural England are bound by. In this case it is to monitor areas effectively, such that when an SSSI is no longer important, that that designation is removed. For, if it is not it is then unlawfully restricting the peaceful enjoyment of land in violation of Article 8 and Protocol 1, Article 1. To seek to prolong an untruth is in our view an unsustainable practice.


Where Natural England are sloth for the purposes of fooling the public, that is of course fraud, as defined in Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006.




Compensation Schemes are publicly-funded and provide payments to farmers who, in return, agree to manage their land for the benefit of the environment. In this case the landowner is doing his bit, but Natural England are not prosecuting the agency responsible for flooding, and that flooding has materially altered the status of the land when it comes to special scientific interest.


Where Natural England have not even advised the landowner of such compensation schemes, and refused to indemnify in case of livestock escaping, etc, we suspect discrimination is the root cause of their behaviour - perhaps giving in to public pressure, instead of doing their job properly. 


The identity of the landowner is protected, but one of our operatives has visited the site in question (overtly) and provided us with verifiable facts in the form of photographic evidence, as to the excellent condition of the land - save for the flooding - which is a live issue, and does not involve the subject, but is rather a matter of negligent land management on the part of environment agencies; to include Natural England.


The pictures we now hold demonstrate that significant improvements have been made, bound to increase the natural habitats of local fauna, birds and spiders in particular. The case continues where documents have been provided late (years after requested), literally half a working day before the next hearing. 




it is alleged that another tactic adopted by Natural England is to flood a farmers land to make it worthless. How might they get away with that? Well, they would not install pumps to pump water onto the land, that would be an overt act and immediately injunctable? Instead, where a local pumping station controls water levels, instead of manning the pumps such as to manage the levels, they would simply not provide a man to ensure that the pumps were working correctly, so that more water was coming onto the land - for example to increase the numbers of Fen Raft spiders, now being bred for export from Sussex to other counties.


When giving evidence, Allan Drewitt confirmed that flooding the land would have the effect of increasing the attractiveness of the land for wading birds. We rest our case. If you search the web for a picture of Allan Drewitt, you will not find one. Does he have something to hide? Come on Allan, send us in a picture and please feel free to correct us on anything that you feel is not accurate.




If any member of the public can help us to clear up unresolved issues about the Pevensey Levels and lapwings and magpies, etc, we would be pleased to hear from you.


Our investigations continue ......



NATURAL ENGLAND BOARD - Natural England Board Register of Interests.



Poul Christensen CBE

Mr Poul Christensen CBE - Chair - Date appointed: December 2006

Date appointed as Chair: 3 December 2009 - Appointed until: 31 December 2013


Poul was appointed Chair of Natural England on 3 December 2009. He was Deputy Chair of Natural England from 2006 and served as Acting Chair following the death of Sir Martin Doughty in March 2009.


He is a director of a successful family dairy farming business at Kingston Hill Farm, in Oxfordshire. He has a long track record of integrating conservation with the demands of modern farming.


Throughout his career Poul has taken a prominent role leading the farming sector through changing and challenging times. He is the joint founder of the Tenant Farmers’ Association, established in 1981 to provide a voice for tenant farmers. He was previously Chairman of Milk Marque in the late 1990s, steering the dairy sector through a period of significant change, Chair of the Rural Development Service until 2006, overseeing the launch of modern Environmental Stewardship schemes, and a member of the Defra Management Board before taking up the appointment of Chair at Natural England.


He is currently a Director of Agricultural Central Trading Limited, a farmer supply cooperative and is a Board member of the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Poul was elected as President Elect of the National Federation Of Young Farmers' Clubs, in April 2012, and in the same month was advanced as a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies (FRAgS). He received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1991 for services to agriculture and the commercial development of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service (ADAS).


Professor David Hill


Professor David Hill - Deputy Chair

Appointed: 2 May 2006 - Until: 31 March 2014


David was appointed Deputy Chair in February 2011 and has been a member of Natural England’s Board since 2 May 2006.


His responsibilities include: Northumberland and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (as Board member), Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee and Audit and Risk Committee, and the Natural England, Environment Agency and Forestry Commission Joint Sub-group.


David has significant experience in consultancy, nature conservation and company business strategy. He runs an ecological consultancy company, is Chairman of The Environment Bank Ltd and was previously Chief Scientific Adviser to RPS Group plc. Over the past three years he has been actively involved in promoting environmental markets to provide new and innovative ways of mitigating for impacts on ecosystem services arising from development, industry and corporate businesses.


David is a Fellow and past President of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. He has published extensively on ecological issues over the past 25 years. David is a member of the Government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce.

David is a member of the RSPB, BTO, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and a life member of the National Trust.

William Cockbain


Mr William Cockbain

Appointed: 1 October 2011 - Until: 30 September 2014


Responsibilities from 1 October 2011 include: land management, agriculture and the uplands, Lake District, Peak District and North York Moors National Parks.


William Cockbain farms a large hill farm in the Lake District as part of a family partnership. He was NFU National Uplands spokesman from 2004 until March 2012 when he stood down after 8 years.  


In 2006 he was appointed as Defra’s North West Sustainable Food and Farming Champion, a position held until the end of March 2011. He chairs the new Rural and Farming Networks, for Cumbria, North and East Lancashire, and was made an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2008 for services to hill farming.


Catherine Graham-Harrison OBE


Ms Catherine Graham-Harrison OBE

Appointed: 1 January 2009 - Until: 31 December 2014


Responsibilities from 30 September 2011 include: Protected Landscapes, with special responsibility for the South Downs and New Forest National Parks, and transport and development. Member of the Audit and Risk Committee until 30 September 2011.


Until 2011, Catherine worked as a Management Consultant, mainly in the not for profit sector, focusing on philanthropy; strategic planning; governance and organisational development.


Prior to that, she was a Vice President of Citibank and then Chief Executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. She has held a large number of non executive positions over the past 20 years including being on the board of the Heritage Lottery Fund and a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


Catherine has been Chair of the National Forest Company since April 2011 and was appointed Chair of the National Trust Architecture Panel with effect from 1 February 2011.


Joe Horwood


Dr Joe Horwood

Appointed: 1 October 2009 - Until: 30 September 2015


Responsibilities include: Lead Board member for marine and the Broads Authority. Member of the Audit and Risk Committee (until 30 September 2011), Natural England Science Advisory Committee, Marine Protected Areas sub-group on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Natural England, Environment Agency and Forestry Commission Joint Sub-group (ceased July 2012).


Joe Horwood has a background in mathematics and zoology applied in marine ecology and resource management. Former Chief Science Advisor at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), but retaining a role as Non-Executive Director and Chair of CEFAS’ Science Advisory Committee. He has been a member of the Board of the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) since 1998 and was President of ICES from 2006 to 2009. He was also on the Board of the Marine Biological Association from 1998 to 2001.


He has served on the science advisory committees of the International Whaling Commission, ICES and the EC, and on the UK’s Marine Science Co-ordination Committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and a member of the British Ecological Society, the Challenger Society and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. He has published on a variety of marine issues including whales, fisheries and marine protected areas.


Doug Hulyer


Mr Doug Hulyer

Appointed: 2 May 2006 (reappointed 1 June 2011) - Until: 31 May 2014


Responsibilities include: Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, access and engagement, management for biodiversity, and climate change adaptation. Member of the Natural England, Environment Agency and Forestry Commission joint sub-group.


Doug is an independent advisor for the heritage and natural environment sector. He was previously the Director of Conservation, Programmes and Developments for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, and prior to moving to Slimbridge in 1984, one of the first Education Officers in the Wildlife Trust network.


Doug is a committed environmentalist, environmental educator and conservationist with over 30 year’s professional experience. He is a Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund/Heritage Lottery Fund, a member of HLF’s South West Committee, and Chair of the NHMF Audit Committee.

Doug is currently Vice-President of the Surrey Wildlife Trust, a member of the Learning & Visitor Experience Panel of the National Trust, and a Fellow of the Society of Biology.   He is a Trustee of Earth Trust, Oxfordshire (HLS received) and Woodchester Mansion Trust (within SSSI).


He also holds memberships in Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, English Heritage, Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, The National Trust, Freshwater Biological Association, and the Institute of Directors, The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, Royal Horticultural Society, IUCN – Commission on Education and Communication and the National Trust.


In June 2008, Doug ceased his position as Chairman of the Wetland Vision project. Doug was a Council Member for English Nature between 2002-2006, before taking up the appointment of Board Member for Natural England.


Professor David Macdonald


Professor David Macdonald

Appointed: 2 May 2006 (reappointed 1 June 2011) - Until: 30 September 2014


Responsibilities include: Chair of Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee and biodiversity (land use issues).

David is the Professor of Wildlife Conservation and the Director (and founder) of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Zoology Department at Oxford University. He is also Chairman of the Darwin Advisory Committee, Defra and Chairman of Earthwatch UK.


David was awarded the 2004 Dawkins Prize for contributions to wildlife conservation. In 2006 he was awarded the Merriam Medal for outstanding contributions to mammalian research by the American Society of Mammalogists and in 2007 he was awarded the equivalent medal of Britain’s Mammal Society and in 2010 the Zoological Society of London’s Silver Medal. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2010 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire for services to Natural Science.


He is also Senior Research Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, a Board Member of the World Wildlife Fund.

David was a Council Member for English Nature from 2003-2006, before taking up the appointment of Board Member for Natural England.


Nigel Reader CBE


Mr Nigel Reader CBE

Appointed: 1 June 2011 - Until: 31 May 2014


Responsibilities include: Chair of Natural England’s Audit and Risk Committee from 1 October 2011.

Nigel is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and has held a number of senior financial positions, including as Director of Finance for the National Rivers Authority and the Environment Agency. He has been a member of HM Treasury’s Financial Reporting and Advisory Board and a member of the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability Advisory Group.


He served as a member of the board of trustees of the international development charity WaterAid from 1999 until 2011 and is a consultant for them (occasional). 


He is currently a board member for both the Marine Management Organisation and Natural Resources Wales and also chairs their Audit & Risk Committees.


Andy Wilson


Mr Andy Wilson

Appointed: 1 January 2009 - Until: 31 December 2014


Responsibilities include:  Member of Audit and Risk Committee from 1 October 2011; and climate change mitigation (renewable forms of energy).


Andy Wilson has been Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority since March 2000 during which time the Authority has won a series of awards for customer service, training and work on climate change. Prior to that, he worked for seven years at the Northumberland National Park. Earlier in his career he worked for the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), where he produced a series of influential reports on farming and the environment. He has numerous relations who farm in the Yorkshire Dales


Andy is a member of the RSPB, and was a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly Sustainable Development Board until April 2009.




Pevensey Levels - Should this be an area of special scientific interest. Or is this just a designation of convenience to advantage selected landowners? For sure some parts of the land are special for their World War II archaeology. Much of the land in this region has been artificially manipulated as a result of emplacements and radar, early warning stations. How then can the whole site be classed as natural - rather it is man-made - so not natural. Why then is Natural England involved? Natural England of course refuse to seek advice from the experts, even though there is a duty to protect industrial archaeology.



Andrew (Andy) Hopkin, Browne Jacobson LLP, solicitors - Travel Expenses and Culpable Overcharging 




Andy Hopkin is a solicitor working with the firm of Browne Jacobson LLP, solicitors, and those instructing Jonathan Mitchell. Extraordinary as it may seem, it is alleged that a law firm working with Natural England is enjoying charging typically high lawyers fees, all the while Natural England have been "elaborating" charges (as in piling on offences), the net effect of which is to cause as much financial harm to the accused as possible. Remember, from above, that it is/was alleged that Allan Drewitt was not as forthcoming as he might have been about Magpies preventing Lapwings from nesting at the Pevensey Levels, or indeed any mention of other close by fences - and that he did not attend a criminal court with up to date information as to use of the site by lapwings. Allan Dewitt did not bring anything with him in fact, within 5 years of the last site survey - and of course magpies, foxes and rabbits have decimated the SSSI, which should thus be re-defined. If it is that this conviction has been based on "junk-science" is it legal? And it looks that way to us - unless of course Natural England would now care to provide up to the minute data?




We can confirm that in other cases we know of where Wealden District Council is an agency involved in the chain somewhere, that that is exactly the sort of tactics adopted. The aim is to win by attrition (especially where they have no leg to stand on in law), and where a person is well enough heeled that a fine might not be a noticeable dent in the bank balance, to wind up the costs to a level so that it hurts - and in some cases to a level which might bankrupt a person of limited means - which is in itself an Article 8 violation - and unlawful. Yet the courts are persuaded that this is morally acceptable. What has England become?


This practice is of course more than immoral, it is illegal if done deliberately, as in the offence of culpable overcharging. We know of one case where the hours charged for an officer's time was well in excess of the hours in the day/week that were possible to work. The well worn term: "blood-sucking-lawyers", is in some cases well deserved.


In a recent case in the Brighton Magistrates Court, lawyers claimed a high figure, which the Judge knocked down significantly. The question is, if a bill is knocked down that way, was the original figure sought, culpably overcharged, or an attempt to gain financially which may fall to be considered under the Fraud Acts?




Natural England's lawyers fighting over the carcass of a farmer on Pevensey Levels.





In many parts of the country, it would barely buy you a house. But £300,000 might be enough to secure you a lake that inspired William Wordsworth and was described by Beatrix Potter as her “favourite”, after its lease was put up for sale on eBay, the internet auction site. Esthwaite Water, located between Windermere and Coniston Water, in the Lake District, covers 280 acres.

Nigel Woodhouse has developed a leisure business on the lake, which includes a shop and café, as well as boating and fishing facilities. He is quoted as saying that he was selling his lease and the business because, after 32 years in charge, he is approaching retirement age. “I will be sad to see it go; it has been my life.”  “I chose eBay because I wanted to broadcast it to the world. The literary and natural importance of the lake is likely to attract an international audience so what better way to get the message out?

Esthwaite Water is mentioned by Wordsworth in his poem Expostulation and Reply and is the location for Lines Left Upon A Seat In A Yew-Tree, both in his Lyrical Ballads. He also cites it twice in his Prelude.

Beatrix Potter’s former home, Hill Top – now a National Trust site – is less than half a mile from the shore. She found the scenery around the lake ‘almost theatrical’ and made it the home of one of her characters Jeremy Fisher, the gentleman frog who wears a waistcoat and reads a newspaper.

The area, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, now features a nature train dedicated to the author, and the café is Potter-themed.

The lake is the largest stocked fishing lake in the North West and is particularly renowned for its trout and pike, which attract thousands of anglers a year. It is also home to osprey, and the business offers “Osprey Safaris”.

Included in the 15 year lease from the Graythwaite Estate, which owns the lake, are the entire water and land on the south west shore, a Victorian boathouse, fisherman’s lodge, the shop and café. There is also a slipway and jetty for boats as well as disabled facilities. The auction will work on a best offer basis and Mr Woodhouse said he was expecting bids in the region of £300,000. The winning bid is expected to be announced next month.


COMMENT - Is it not strange how in Cumbria, Natural England encourage enterprise where SSSIs are concerned, but that in Sussex they will go to almost any lengths to stop some nationalities from doing virtually the same thing. More on this as the story develops.........



For Sale on Ebay - Esthwaite Water, Lake District and Beatrix Potter





FORMER solicitor has been struck off and ordered to pay £35,000 in costs for dishonestly overcharging clients.

The sanctions were made in June against Eric Donald Hunter, formerly of Blythe Liggins in Leamington, following hearings held by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Mr Hunter, who lives in Warwick, has now lodged an appeal against the sanctions.

The tribunal found allegations made against Mr Hunter proven that during his time as a partner at Blythe Liggins he had transferred funds from the client account to the office account on probate matters, prepared bills of costs on probate matters that were excessive, failed to properly send bills of costs to entitled parties and prepared round sum bills in probate matters, all of which were contrary to the Solicitors Accounts Rules.

In one probate case given for overcharging, the bills of costs over a five-and-a-half-year period amounted to £14,695, which were judged “manifestly disproportionate to the work on the file” and the overcharge “significant” when a reasonable cost for handling the matter assessed by a law costs draftsman would have been about £4,059.

In another case, bills prepared by Mr Hunter totalling £17,725 were assessed by the law costs draftsman to be £6,896 - an over-charge of more than £10,000.

In all five probate cases cited at the hearing, the tribunal was satisfied there had been culpable over-charging and that Mr Hunter had been dishonest in rendering bills of costs on probate matters which were excessive. Mr Hunter had denied those allegations.

The tribunal cited the case of Salsbury v the Law Society in which Lord Justice Coulson said that any solicitor who overcharged in bills of costs was a danger to the public.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner at Blythe Liggins, said a routine inspection by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) had taken place in 2006.

Mr Thornton added: “In the course of that inspection, the SRA reviewed a number of Mr Hunter’s trust/administration files dating back several years.

“They felt that eight matters relating to fees over that period required further investigation, even though no complaints of any kind were - or have been since - made by the clients or the beneficiaries involved.

“Mr Hunter left the firm at the beginning of 2009.

“Compliance with the rules of our professional body is something we take very seriously.

“That’s why, since taking over as joint senior partners four years ago, David Lester and I have introduced new governance, better supervision, new codes of practice, greater transparency and more training courses to ensure that this could not happen again.”

At the time of going to print Mr Hunter was unavailable for comment.



Action required
This is a categorisation of the action that is required to bring the SSSI unit into favourable condition. There are three options: Natural England funding; Natural England negotiation/enforcement; and other party action. Any combination of these actions can be selected for one unit.
Adverse condition
If a SSSI unit is currently assessed as being in unfavourable no change, unfavourable declining, part destroyed or destroyed condition, it is described as being in adverse condition and is not meeting the PSA target.
The citation details the 'features of interest' for which a SSSI has been notified. Each citation shows details of the SSSI location, size and the date of notification. It also describes the general reasons for notification and the habitats, plants and animals that are found at the site.
The condition of the SSSI land in England is assessed by Natural England, using categories agreed across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland through the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. There are six reportable condition categories: favourable; unfavourable recovering; unfavourable no change; unfavourable declining; part destroyed and destroyed.
Condition assessment comments
The condition assessment comments provide more detailed information about the condition assessment. Comments will not be present for every condition assessment.
Date compiled
The date the information was extracted from the Natural England Site Information System (ENSIS).
Destroyed means that lasting damage has occurred to all the special conservation interest of the SSSI unit such that it has been irretrievably lost. This land will never recover.
Natural England funding
Natural England funding may be required for the unit to reach favourable condition, eg a Wildlife Enhancement Scheme agreement is required.
Natural England negotiation/enforcement
Negotiation and/or enforcement by Natural England is required for the unit to reach favourable condition.
Favourable condition means that the SSSI land is being adequately conserved and is meeting its 'conservation objectives', however, there is scope for the enhancement of these sites.
Latest assessment date
The date when the latest condition assessment was carried out.
Main habitat
The broadest classification of the feature on the unit selected from a list of habitats based on the BAP Broad Habitat classification.
Meeting the PSA target
If a SSSI unit is currently assessed as being in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition, it is described as 'meeting the PSA target'.
Notification date
The date the SSSI was notified to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Natural England. If the SSSI notification has been amended, this will be the date of the last revision.
Operations requiring Natural England's consent (formerly known as operations likely to damage the special interest)
Before any of these operations are undertaken the owner or occupier must consult Natural England and may require our consent.

It is usually possible to carry out many of these operations in certain ways or at specific times of year, or on certain parts of the SSSI, without damaging the features of interest. The Natural England Conservation Officer for the SSSI can provide advice and, where appropriate, issue a consent.

In certain circumstances it will not be possible to consent to these operations, because they would damage the features of interest. Where possible the Conservation Officer will suggest alternatives which would enable a consent to be issued. To proceed without Natural England's consent may constitute an offence. If consent is refused, or if conditions are attached to it which are unacceptable to the owner or occupier, they may appeal to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Other party action
Action by a public or statutory body other than Natural England is required for the SSSI unit to reach favourable condition.
Part destroyed
Part destroyed means that lasting damage has occurred to part of the special conservation interest of a SSSI unit such that it has been irretrievably lost and will never recover. Conservation work may be needed on the residual interest of the land.
PSA target
The Government's Public Service Agreement (PSA) target to have 95% of the SSSI area in favourable or recovering condition by 2010.
Reason for adverse condition
The reason why the unit it is in adverse condition (ie unfavourable no change, unfavourable declining, part destroyed or destroyed). The reason is selected from a defined list.
Source (reason for adverse condition)
Whether the cause of the adverse condition is within the SSSI (on site) or outside the SSSI (off site).
SSSI unit
SSSI units are divisions of SSSIs used to record management and condition details. Units are the smallest areas for which Natural Englands gives a condition assessment. The size of units varies greatly depending on the types of management and the conservation interest. There are around 22,000 SSSI units.
SSSI unit area
The area of each SSSI unit in hectares calculated from digitised unit boundaries.
Staff member responsible
The Area Team staff member who is the main contact for the SSSI.
Unfavourable declining
This means that the special interest of the SSSI unit is not being conserved and will not reach favourable condition unless there are changes to site management or external pressures. The site condition is becoming progressively worse.
Unfavourable no change
This means the special interest of the SSSI unit is not being conserved and will not reach favourable condition unless there are changes to the site management or external pressures. The longer the SSSI unit remains in this poor condition, the more difficult it will be, in general, to achieve recovery.
Unfavourable recovering
Unfavourable recovering condition is often known simply as 'recovering'. SSSI units are not yet fully conserved but all the necessary management measures are in place. Provided that the recovery work is sustained, the SSSI will reach favourable condition in time.

In many cases, restoration takes time. Woodland that has been neglected for 50 years will take several years to bring back into a working coppice cycle. A drained peat bog might need 15-20 years to restore a reasonable coverage of sphagnum.
Views about Management (VAM)
The 'Views About Management' gives a straightforward account of the basic management that is needed to conserve and enhance the wildlife or geological features of the SSSI. By giving a clear and simple statement of management principles for conservation, these views will help to clarify and build upon the existing understanding between SSSI owners and occupiers and Natural England about the management of their SSSIs.

The views place no additional obligation on the owner or occupier of a SSSI nor do they replace any more detailed management advice which Natural England may have already given, such as advice in a Site Management Statement or a Management Agreement.

Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Natural England must notify the owners and occupiers of all SSSIs of its views about the management of the SSSIs. This programme must be completed by January 2006.









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