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Canford Heath, Dorset

Volume 116: debated on Friday 15 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state the nature of the special interest by reason of which the Nature Conservancy Council has designated Canford Heath, Dorset, as a site of special scientific interest; if Canford Heath has been identified for designation as a special protection area under EC directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds; and if he will state his policy towards the protection of sites of special scientific interest and special protection areas, against operations likely to damage the special interest of such sites.

The Canford heath site of special scientific interest supports communities of plants and animals typical of Dorset heathland, including a number of rare and protected species. I understand the Nature Conservancy Council intends to recommend the Poole basin, of which Canford heath forms a part, as a special protection area under directive 79/409/EEC.Sites of special scientific interest notified under the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (which include special protection areas) are statutorily protected under the terms of that Act. The Nature Conservancy Council must be consulted in connection with development proposals in such sites to ensure that the conservation interests can be fully taken into account when decisions are reached.