| Commentary

141 Background

| Commentary

B: THE BIRDS DIRECTIVE AND THE HABITATS DIRECTIVE

141 Background

In addition to the principal system of protection for sites of high nature conservation interest in England and Wales established under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 19811, sites of European importance will also be designated under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive2. The process of identification and designation under the two Regulations has been somewhat slower than anticipated by the European Commission, but in the UK there are now 556 Special Areas of Conservation designated under the Habitats and Species Regulation (known as SACs) and 246 Special Protection Areas

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