The majority of the Bourne Valley is
Coy Pond Gardens and the Upper, Middle and
Lower Gardens are
(Site of Special Scientific Interest)
of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) represent our best sites for
wildlife and geology. Well over half, by area, are internationally
important and many play an important part in local culture and economies
or provide wonderful opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife and
landscape. The national wildlife and geological features of SSSIs are
irreplaceable parts of our national heritage.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest are
notified throughout Great Britain; English Nature is responsible for
identifying and protecting these sites in England. They achieve this
primarily in partnership with SSSI owners and managers, and as a result
the majority are in good condition and well managed.
Notification as an SSSI is primarily a legal
mechanism to protect sites that are of particular conservation interest
because of the wildlife they support, or because of the geological
features that are found there.
(Special Protection Area)
SPAs are areas
classified under Article 4 of the Birds Directive (Council Directive
79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds).
The Dorset Heathlands cover an extensive
complex of heathland sites at the western edge of the Hampshire Basin. The
area is centred around the large estuary of Poole Harbour and lies in
close proximity to the urban conurbation of Bournemouth and Poole. Past
losses of the heathland (an estimated 75% during the twentieth century to
development, agriculture and afforestation) have left the remaining heaths
in a highly fragmented state. Despite this decline and fragmentation, the
heaths show a high degree of ecological cohesion. They contain large areas
of dry heath, wet heath and acid valley mire, all habitats that are
restricted to the Atlantic fringe of Europe. The examples of the Dorset
Heathlands are among the best of their type in the UK. There are also
transitions to coastal wetlands and floodplain fen habitats.
The whole complex has an outstanding fauna in
a European context, covering many different taxa. Many species have a
specialist ecology, strongly associated with, or restricted to, heathland.
The area is ornithologically important for specialist breeding birds of
lowland heathland, as well as for some wintering raptors.
This site qualifies as an SPA by supporting
populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex
I of the Directive:
Sylvia undata, 418 pairs representing at least 26.1% of the breeding
population in Great Britain (Three count mean, 1991-2 & 1994)
Caprimulgus europaeus, 386 pairs representing at least 11.4% of the
breeding population in Great Britain (Two year mean 1991-1992)
Lullula arborea, 60 pairs representing at least 4.0% of the breeding
population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1997)
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 20 individuals representing at least 2.7% of the
wintering population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1991/2)
Falco columbarius, 15 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the
wintering population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1991/2)
(Special Area of Conservation)
EU's Habitats Directive includes lists of 169 habitat types and 623
species for which Member States must consider designation of Special Areas
of Conservation (SACs). There
are 571 SACs in the United Kingdom (August 2002). SPAs and SACs together
form a network of protected sites across the EU called "Natura
Compared with other designations SACs tend to be large, often
covering a number of separate but related sites, and sometimes including
areas of developed land. In fact, the boundaries of some SACs are not very
clearly defined, and some are still under discussion. Unlike other
designations, SACs can stretch beyond the low tide mark into the marine
environment - some are almost all marine in extent. Because the EU
threatened to take legal action against the UK on the grounds that
insufficient areas were designated it is likely that some extra SACs will
be designated in the UK in the future.
all UK SACs are based on SSSIs (although SSSIs cannot extend beyond low
tide and SACs can). In planning law, they are effectively afforded the
highest possible protection.
Dorset Heaths SAC will soon to be declared by the UK Government,
and includes an international obligation not to allow the habitats to
degrade with respect to typical fauna and flora of the habitat.
The instruction from Government is that
candidate SACs should be treated as though they have been declared.
more on the Dorset Heaths 2221.94
ha. SAC visit
The Convention on Wetlands, signed in
Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the
framework for national action and international cooperation for the
conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The Convention on Wetlands came into
force for the United Kingdom on 5 May 1976. The UK presently
has 169 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a
surface area of 859,023 hectares.
Heathlands. 01/10/98; England. 6,730 ha; 50º39’N
002º09’W. National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area EC
Directive, SSSI. This inland wetland contains numerous examples of wet
ciliaris, E. tetralix) and acid valley mire, habitats that are
restricted to the Atlantic fringe of Europe. These heath wetlands are
amongst the best of their type in lowland Britain. The site supports a
large assemblage of nationally rare and scarce wetland plant species and
invertebrates (28 species). The area is used for nature conservation,
tourism, recreation, rough or shifting grazing, mining, and hunting.
Ramsar site no. 964.
(Site of Nature Conservation Interest)
of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCIs) are sites that are recognised to
be of county importance for wildlife. They have no statutory
designations but nevertheless contribute to Dorset’s diverse and
outstanding wildlife heritage. Their value is recognised by Local
Authorities in relation to any planning procedures that may have an
effect on wildlife sites and by other organisations, including DEFRA
when administrating agri-environment grant schemes.
scheme is run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust with summaries of each site
sent to Local Authorities and details on species and habitats present at
each site sent to the Dorset Environmental
Records Centre (DERC).
are two SNCIs in the Bourne Valley, both of which are owned by Borough
of Poole and are small green spaces within the urban setting. (1) Alderney Wood comprises
two thin strips of damp woodland and a pond.
Birch, oak and sallow forms the woodland canopy. The ground flora
includes narrow-buckler fern, bog myrtle and wavy hair-grass; (2) Winston
Avenue is remnant heathland and acid grassland. Species include heather,
bell heather, western gorse, sheep’s sorrel and stag’s-horn
Heritage Grade II* listed
a general rule, English Heritage considers all parks or gardens over 30
years old to be "historic".
parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource: they can easily be
damaged beyond repair or lost forever. In order to recognise the existence
of those sites which are of particular historic importance, English
Heritage has compiled a Register of Parks and Gardens of special
historic interest in England.
There are currently nearly 1450 sites included on the Register
divided into three grade bands. The majority of the sites identified
through the Register as being of a sufficiently high level of
interest to merit a national designation, are designated grade II. Around
30% of the 1450 are considered to be of exceptional historic interest and
are awarded a star giving them grade II* status. A further 10% are of
international importance, and are classified as grade I. Bournemouth
Gardens are grade II* listed.