The vast coastline and seas around the UK have
a remarkable marine natural heritage and provide
rich resources for both work and recreation. These
are treasures that need to be safeguarded and the
UK Marine SACs Project is playing a major role in
The Project was set up in response to the challenges
placed by European legislation EC
Council Directive 92/43/EEC 'on the conservation
of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
This Directive aims to protect some of the most
valuable parts of Europe's natural heritage and
ensure its wise use. To achieve this, it has identified
a set of habitats and species known as Annex
I habitats and Annex II species which require
special conservation measures to be taken by Member
States. In particular these measures include the
designation and management of Special Areas of Conservation
(SACs) for the habitats and species.
The UK Marine SACs Project was set up to establish
management schemes on selected marine Special Areas
of Conservation (SACs). Its activities have focused
on a selection of twelve
marine SACs around the UK and on developing
specific areas of knowledge needed for the management
and monitoring of European marine sites.
This website is a vehicle for communicating and
distributing the learning, knowledge and outputs
from the UK Marine SACs Project to its wider audience.
All the documents and background information that
have been published can be accessed through this
The requirements of the EC Habitats Directive to
set up protected areas in the marine environment
presents new challenges for wildlife conservation.
The Project aims to develop approaches and techniques
to the management and monitoring of the marine SACs.
Specifically the project aims to:
i) Establish operational management schemes
on a selection of 12 marine SACs around the UK,
working with relevant authorities and other local
ii) Share best practice on developing appropriate
iii) Gather existing knowledge and improve our
All information generated by the Project can be
accessed through this site as either individual
pages of html or as PDF files of complete reports.
The Project has been run as a partnership between
six different UK organisations: English
Natural Heritage; Countryside
Council for Wales; Environment
and Heritage Services Northern Ireland; Joint
Nature Conservation Committee and the Scottish
Association for Marine Science. Their funds
are matched by the European Commission's LIFE
-Nature Programme. The Project runs from May
1996 to October 2001.