[holding answer 20 April 2009]: We have funding information for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) covering the last nine financial years (2000-01 to 2008-09 inclusive). This information is routinely collated and confirmed at the end of each financial year. The costs cover the funding of SSSI management by DEFRA, including its resourcing of Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission. The costs also include Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Agri-Environment schemes, but not the EU co-funded element.
From 2000-01 to 2008-09 inclusive, the total cumulative cost of managing SSSIs was £339,895,000. During this period the SSSI area increased from 1,053,796 ha in 2000 to 1,077,086 ha in 2009. The total costs for the 2008-09 year are awaiting confirmation and collation, but we estimate these will be £56,750,000. We do not currently have this aggregated information broken down by quarter to specifically address the January to March 2009 period.