Local Wildlife Sites

Protecting wildlife sites

Local Wildlife Sites

Carr Wood Local Wildlife Site

What are Local Wildlife Sites?

Local Wildlife Sites are areas of land that are especially important for their wildlife. They are some of our most valuable wildlife areas. Local Wildlife Sites are identified and selected locally using scientifically-determined criteria and surveys. They are corridors for wildlife, forming key components of ecological networks. 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.

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 to find out more.

Why do Local Wildlife Sites matter?

Local Wildlife Sites

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.

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. 

Read our short guide to Local Wildlife Sites

Local Wildlife Site short guide

Local Wildlife Site short guide

Read our short guide to Local Wildlife Sites - explains what they are, why they're important, the challenges facing them and more.

Download

What you can do to help

  • Do you own or manage a piece of land listed as a Local Wildlife Site? Contact your local Wildlife Trust. They can offer advice or point you in the right direction for help with surveys and Management options.
  • Ask your local Wildlife Trust where to find Local Wildlife Sites open to the public near you. Get to know and enjoy them.