Local wildlife and geological sites in the Tees Valley

Local Sites can be Local Wildlife Sites or Local Geological Sites. They are the non-statutory conservation sites and were previously called Sites of Nature Conservation importance (SNCI) in this area

What are Local Wildlife Sites?

There are around 35,000 non-statutory Local Wildlife Sites in England. Local Sites make a vital contribution to delivering both the UK and Local Biodiversity Action Plan targets.

  1. Local Sites networks provide a comprehensive rather than representative suite of sites.
  2. Local Sites provide wildlife refuges for most of the UK’s fauna and flora and through their connecting and buffering qualities, they complement other site networks.
  3. Local Sites represent local character and distinctiveness.
  4. Local Sites contribute to the quality of life and the well-being of the community, with many sites providing opportunities for research and education.

How are Local Wildlife Sites identified, selected and managed?

Defra have produced national guidance on the identification, selection and management of Local Sites. The guidance has been produced to ensure that there is a consistent and systematic approach to the selection of Local Sites so that they can be protected and appropriately managed.

For more information on the legislative and policy context of Local Sites, the national framework for establishing and administering the Local Sites System, the role of Local Sites partnerships, the evaluation and selection of Local Sites and the management and resourcing of Local Sites download a copy of the Defra Guidance

Defra (2006) Local Sites, guidance on their identification, selection and management.

Local Sites do not have legal protection but have policy protection through Local Authority Plans.

Local sites in the Tees Valley

The Tees Valley Local Sites Partnership is a working group of the Tees Valley Nature Partnership. It has taken this role forward from the former Tees Valley Biodiversity Partnership. It has several roles to play in the management of the Local Sites system;

  • Advising local authorities on the selection and designation of sites
  • Documenting the management of sites
  • Facilitating management of sites to maintain their ecological/geological interest features

The selection criteria for Local Wildlife Sites in the Tees Valley were developed by the Tees Valley Biodiversity Partnership. This guidance is based on local scientifically based knowledge within the partnership. The criteria cover 8 habitat types and 15 species / groups. These criteria will provide information to monitor site condition and set management objectives for sites. It is a working document and subject to further development and review by the Tees Valley Local Sites Partnership.

The Tees Valley RIGS group advise the Local Sites Partnership on the selection and management of Local Geological Sites.

Local Site data

Data on the location, boundaries an interest features of local sites is held by each local authority.

The Environmental Records Information Centre North East (ERIC) also has copies of this data.