The criteria to be applied in selecting special protection areas are set out in the Birds Directive which provides in particular that member states must classify the most suitable territories in number and size as special protection areas for the conservation of the species listed in Annex I, taking into account their protection requirements in the geographical sea and land area to which the Directive applies1.
The process of selecting special areas of conservation under the Habitats Directive is more rigorously defined. The Secretary of State must first propose a list of sites in accordance with the criteria
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