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Hen Harrier (© Keith O'Brien)

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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) have, since 1949, been evolved into a suite of sites providing statutory protection for the best examples of the UK's flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features. These sites are also used to underpin other national and international nature conservation designations. Originally notified under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, SSSIs have been re-notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Improved provisions for the protection and management of SSSIs were introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (in England and Wales).

In 2014 there were 1,019 such Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Wales, covering over 235,000 ha or just over 12% of the country’s land surface. Of these, 107 are located in Snowdonia totalling 62,446.2ha.

SSI within Snowdonia National Park

SSI within Snowdonia National Park