Local Wildlife Sites

Local wildlife siteKieron Huston

Local Wildlife Sites are exceptional areas of land and some of our most valuable wildlife areas.

What are Local Wildlife Sites?

From mystical ancient woodlands to quiet churchyards and bustling flower-rich roadsides; the UK enjoys special, often unnoticed, wild places where nature thrives.

Local Wildlife Sites are identified and selected locally using robust, scientifically-determined criteria and detailed ecological surveys. As a result, these special and often secret spaces have a huge part to play in the natural green fabric of our towns and countryside. They make up a web of stepping stones and corridors for wildlife, forming key components of ecological networks.

Read our short guide to Local Wildlife Sites or find out more about the challenges they are facing.

Why do Local Wildlife Sites matter? 

Who treasures and takes care of these places? 

For more than 35 years, The Wildlife Trusts have worked with local authorities, statutory agencies, landowners and other local partners to establish effective systems for identifying, managing and monitoring Local Wildlife Sites. Within these partnerships, we often play a significant role in advising and supporting site owners.

Local Wildlife Sites are often privately owned and so rely on the sheer commitment of the landowners, farmers and volunteers who are prepared to carry out sensitive habitat management. Without such care and effort, a site will gradually decline.

What's in a name?

These sites are named differently across the UK.

England Local Wildlife Site
Isle of Man Manx Wildlife Site
Northern Ireland Site of Local Nature Conservation Importance
Scotland Local Nature Conservation Site
Wales Site of Importance for Nature Conservation

There can be local variations too eg: County Wildlife Site, SINC, Site of Nature Conservation Importance. 

Watch our films about Local Wildlife Sites