At a habitat and landscape scale, there are many different designations for preserving ecologically important habitats and species in the UK. These range from international to locally designated sites. Sites of international nature conservation importance are either wetlands designated under the Ramsar Convention; sites of importance for birds designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in accordance with the EC Birds Directive. Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is the main statutory nature conservation designation in Great Britain, although there are others such as National Nature Reserves and National Scenic Areas. In addition there are locally protected sites such as Sites of importance for Nature Conservation Sites (LNCS).
A suit of SINC’s were inherited by South Lanarkshire Council from the pre-existing district councils when they were amalgamated in 1996. These are local sites which are of high importance for biodiversity in the local area and they are protected through the planning process (the term SINC is a non-statutory designation). Due to the nature of the previous administrators, the current suit of SINC’s are confined mainly to the North-West of the county, around Hamilton and East Kilbride. A key priority of the Biodiversity Partnership is to develop criteria which will:
Enable existing sites to be reviewed and assessed.
Enable new sites to be identified and protected through the next local plan.
Aim to protect SSSI sites which have failed to meet Favourable Status Conditions through the LNCS identification process.
Further information can be found in Biodiversity assets