Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation; the acronym "SSSI" is pronounced "triple-S I". Sites notified for their biological interest are known as Biological SSSIs, those notified for geological or physiographic interest are Geological SSSIs. Sites may be divided into management units, with some areas including units that are noted for both biological and geological interest. Biological SSSI/ASSIs may be selected for various reasons, which for Great Britain is governed by published SSSI Selection Guidelines. Within each area, a representative series of the best examples of each significant natural habitat may be notified, for rarer habitats all examples may be included.
Sites of particular significance for various taxonomic groups may be selected —each of these groups has its own set of selection guidelines. Conservation of biological SSSI/ASSIs involves continuation of the natural and artificial processes which resulted in their development and survival, for example the continued traditional grazing of heathland or chalk grassland. In England, the designating body for SSSIs, Natural England, selects biological SSSIs from within natural areas which are areas with particular landscape and ecological characteristics, or on a county basis. In Scotland, the designating authority is Scottish Natural Heritage. In the Isle of Man the role is performed by the Department of Environment and Agriculture. Geological SSSI/ASSIs are selected by a different mechanism to biological ones, with a minimalistic system selecting one site for each geological feature in Great Britain. Academic geological specialists have reviewed geological literature, selecting sites within Great Britain of at least national importance for each of the most important features within each geological topic.
Each of these sites is described, with most published in the Geological Conservation Review series, so becomes a GCR site. All GCR sites are subsequently notified as geological SSSIs, except some that coincide with designated biological SSSI management units. A GCR site may contain features from several different topic blocks, for example a site may contain strata containing vertebrate fossils, insect fossils and plant fossils and it may be of importance for stratigraphy. Geological sites fall into two types, having different conservation priorities: exposure sites, deposit sites. Exposure sites are where quarries, disused railway cuttings, cliffs or outcrops give access to extensive geological features, such as particular rock layers. If the exposure becomes obscured, the feature could in principle be re-exposed elsewhere. Conservation of these sites concentrates on maintenance of access for future study. Deposit sites are features which are limited in extent or physically delicate—for example, they include small lenses of sediment, mine tailings and other landforms.
If such features become damaged they cannot be recreated, conservation involves protecting the feature from erosion or other damage. Following devolution, legal arrangements for SSSIs and ASSIs differ between the countries of the UK; the Isle of Man ASSI system is a separate entity. Scottish Natural Heritage publishes a summary of the SSSI arrangements for SSSI owners and occupiers which can be downloaded from the SNH website. Legal documents for all SSSIs in Scotland are available on the SSSI Register, hosted by The Registers of Scotland. Further information about SSSIs in Scotland is available on the SNH website; the decision to notify an SSSI is made by the relevant nature conservation body for that part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales. SSSIs were set up by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, but the current legal framework for SSSIs is provided in England and Wales by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, amended in 1985 and further amended in 2000, in Scotland by the Nature Conservation Act 2004 and in Northern Ireland by the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985.
SSSIs are covered under the Water Resources Act 1991 and related legislation. An SSSI may be made on any area of land, considered to be of special interest by virtue of its fauna, geological or physiographical / geomorphological features. SSSI notification can cover any "land" within the area of the relevant nature conservation body, including dry land, land covered by freshwater; the extent to which an SSSI/ASSI may extend seawards differs between countries. In Scotland an SSSI may include the intertidal land down to mean low water spring or to the extent of the local planning authority area, thus only limited areas of estuaries and coastal waters beyond MLWS may be included. In England, Natural England may notify an SSSI over estuarial waters and further adjacent waters in certain circumstances (section 28 of The
The Lake District known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes and mountains, its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin; the National Park covers an area of 2,362 square kilometres. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017; the Lake District is located within the county of Cumbria. All the land in England higher than 3,000 feet above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, it contains the deepest and largest natural lakes in England, Wast Water and Windermere respectively. The Lake District National Park includes all of the central Lake District, though the town of Kendal, some coastal areas, the Lakeland Peninsulas are outside the park boundary; the area was designated a national park on 9 May 1951. It retained its original boundaries until 2016 when it was extended by 3% in the direction of the Yorkshire Dales National Park to incorporate areas such as land of high landscape value in the Lune Valley.
It is the most visited national park in the United Kingdom with 15.8 million annual visitors and more than 23 million annual day visits, the largest of the thirteen national parks in England and Wales, the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms National Park. Its aim is to protect the landscape by restricting unwelcome change by commerce. Most of the land in the park is in private ownership, with about 55% registered as agricultural land. Landowners include: Individual farmers and other private landowners, with more than half of the agricultural land farmed by the owners; the National Trust owns about a quarter of the total area. The Forestry Commission and other investors in forests and woodland. United Utilities owns 8% Lake District National Park Authority The National Park Authority is based at offices in Kendal, it runs a visitor centre on Windermere at a former country house called Brockhole, Coniston Boating Centre, Information Centres. It is reducing its landholding. In common with all other national parks in England, there is no restriction on entry to, or movement within the park along public routes, but access to cultivated land is restricted to public footpaths and byways.
Much of the uncultivated land has statutory open access rights. The lakes and mountains combine to form impressive scenery. Farmland and mining have altered the natural scenery, the ecology has been modified by human influence for millennia and includes important wildlife habitats. Having failed in a previous attempt to gain World Heritage status as a natural World Heritage Site, because of human activities, it was successful in the category of cultural landscape and was awarded the status in 2017; the precise extent of the Lake District was not defined traditionally, but is larger than that of the National Park, the total area of, about 912 square miles. The park extends just over 32 miles from east to west and nearly 40 miles from north to south, with areas such as the Lake District Peninsulas to the south lying outside the National Park; the Lake District is one of the most populated national parks. There are, only a handful of major settlements within this mountainous area, the towns of Keswick, Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere being the four largest.
Significant towns outside the boundary of the national park include Millom, Barrow-in-Furness, Ulverston, Dalton-in-Furness, Cockermouth and Grange-over-Sands. Villages such as Coniston, Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, Broughton-in-Furness, Newby Bridge, Lindale and Hawkshead are more local centres; the economies of all are intimately linked with tourism. Beyond these are a scattering of hamlets and many isolated farmsteads, some of which are still tied to agriculture; the Lake District National Park is contained within a box of trunk routes. It is flanked to the east by the A6 road; the A590 which connects the M6 to Barrow-in-Furness, the A5092 trunk roads cut across its southern fringes and the A66 trunk road between Penrith and Workington cuts across its northern edge. The A595 trunk road runs through the coastal plains to the west of the area, linking the A66 with the A5092. Besides these, a few A roads penetrate the area itself, notably the A591 which runs north-westwards from Kendal to Windermere and on to Keswick.
It continues up the east side of Bassenthwaite Lake. "The A591, Lake District" was short-listed in the 2011 Google Street View awards in the Most Romantic Street category. The A593 and A5084 link the Ambleside and Coniston areas with the A590 to the south whilst the A592 and A5074 link Windermere with the A590; the A592 continues northwards from Windermere to Ullswater and Penrith by way of the Kirkstone Pass. Some valleys which are not penetrated by A roads are served by B roads; the B5289 serves links via the Honister Pass with Borrowdale. The B5292 ascends the Whinlatter Pass from Lorton Vale before dropping down to Braithwaite near Keswick; the B5322 serves the valley of St John's in the Vale whilst Great Langdale is served by the B5343. Other valle
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, of the family Pinaceae. Growing from 20 to 45 m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south. Larches are among the dominant plants in the boreal forests of Canada. Although they are conifers, larches are deciduous trees. Larches can reach 50–60 m; the larch's tree crown is sparse and the branches are brought horizontal to the stem if some species have them characteristically pendulous. Larch shoots are dimorphic, with leaves borne singly on long shoots 10–50 centimetres long and bearing several buds, in dense clusters of 20–50 needles on short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud; the leaves are needle-like. Larches are among the few deciduous conifers, which are evergreen. Other deciduous conifers include the golden larch Pseudolarix amabilis, the dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the Chinese swamp cypress Glyptostrobus pensilis and the bald cypresses in the genus Taxodium.
The male flowers are fall after pollination. The female flowers of larches are erect, small, 1–9 cm long, green or purple, brown in ripening and lignify 5–8 months after pollination; those native to northern regions have small cones with short bracts, with more southerly species tending to have longer cones with exserted bracts, with the longest cones and bracts produced by the southernmost species, in the Himalayas. The seeds are winged; the larches are streamlined trees, the root system are broad and deep and the bark is finely cracked and wrinkled in irregular plaques. The wood is bicolor, with yellowish white sapwood; the chromosome number is 2n = 24, similar to that of most of the other trees of the Pinaceae family. The genus Larix is present in all the temperate-cold zones of the northern hemisphere, from North America to northern Siberia passing through Europe, mountainous China and Japan; the larches are important forest trees of Central Europe, United States and Canada. They require a cool and humid climate and for this reason they are found in the mountains of the temperate zones, while in the northernmost boreal zones ones they are found in the plain.
At gen. Larix belong to the trees that go further north than all, reaching in the North America and Siberia the tundra and polar ice; the larches are pioneer species not demanding towards the soil and they are long-lived trees. They live in pure or mixed forests together with other conifers or more broad-leaved trees. In the past, the cone bract length was used to divide the larches into two sections, but genetic evidence does not support this division, pointing instead to a genetic divide between Old World and New World species, with the cone and bract size being adaptations to climatic conditions. More recent genetic studies have proposed three groups within the genus, with a primary division into North American and Eurasian species, a secondary division of the Eurasian into northern short-bracted species and southern long-bracted species; the genus Larix belongs to the subfamily Laricoideae, which includes the genera Pseudotsuga and Cathaya. There are eleven accepted species of larch subdivided on the basis of the most recent phylogenetic investigations: Larix laricina K. Koch – Tamarack or American larch.
Parts of Alaska and throughout Canada and the northern United States from the eastern Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic shore. Larix lyallii Parl. – Subalpine larch. Mountains of northwest United States and southwest Canada, at high altitude. Larix occidentalis Nutt. – Western larch. Mountains of northwest United States and southwest Canada, at lower altitudes. Larix decidua Mill. – European larch. Mountains of central Europe. Larix sibirica Ledeb. – Siberian larch. Plains of western Siberia. Larix gmelinii Kuzen. – Dahurian larch. Plains of central and eastern Siberia. Larix kaempferi Carr. – Japanese larch. Mountains of central Japan. Larix czekanowskii Szafer – Uncertain, its origin could be hybrid. Larix potaninii Batalin – Chinese larch. Mountains of southwestern China. Larix mastersiana Rehder & E. H. Wilson – Masters' larch. Mountains of western China. Larix griffithii Hook.f. – Himalayan larch. Mountains of the eastern Himalayas. Most if not all of the species can be hybridised in cultivation. Currently-accepted hybrids are: Larix × lubarskii Sukaczev Larix × maritima Sukaczev Larix × polonica Racib.
A well-known hybrid, the Dunkeld larch Larix × marschlinsii, which arose more or less in Switzerland and Scotland when L. decidua and L. kaempferi hybridised when planted together, is still treated as unresolved. Larix x stenophylla Sukaczev. Larch is used as a food plant by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species — see list of Lepidoptera that feed on larches. Larches are prone to the fungal canker disease Lachnellula ssp..
A tarn is a mountain lake, pond or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn; the word is derived from the Old Norse word tjörn meaning pond. Its more specific use as a mountain lake emerges as it is the used term for all ponds in the upland areas of Northern England. Here, it retains a broader use, referring to any small lake or pond, regardless of its location and origin. In Scandinavian languages, a tjern or tjärn, tärn or tjørn is a small natural lake in a forest or with vegetation surrounding it or growing into the tarn. Pond Proglacial lake
Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, members of which are known as stonecrops. The genus has been described as containing up to 600 species updated to 470, they are leaf succulents found in the Northern Hemisphere, but extending into the southern hemisphere in Africa and South America. The plants vary from creeping herbs to shrubs; the plants have water-storing leaves. The flowers have five petals four or six. There are twice as many stamens as petals. Various species classified as Sedum are now in the segregate genera Hylotelephium and Rhodiola. Well-known European species of Sedum are Sedum acre, Sedum album, Sedum dasyphyllum, Sedum reflexum and Sedum hispanicum. Sedum demonstrates a wide variation in chromosome numbers, polyploidy is common. Chromosome number is an important taxonomic feature. Linnaeus described 16 species of European Sedum. There are now thought to be 55 European species. Now in Dudleya: Dudleya caespitosa Dudleya edulis Now in Hylotelephium: Hylotelephium spectabile Hylotelephium telephioides Now in Rhodiola: Rhodiola rhodantha Rhodiola rosea Rhodiola pachyclados Sedum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Chi.
In particular, Sedum spathulifolium is the host plant of the endangered San Bruno elfin butterfly of San Mateo County, California. Sedum lanceolatum is the host plant of the more common Parnassius smintheus found in the Rocky Mountains; as well as Sedum spathulifolium, many other species of Sedum serve the environmental role of host plants for butterflies. For example, the butterfly Callophrys xami uses several species of Sedum, such as Sedum allantoides, for suitable host plants. Many sedums are cultivated as garden plants, due to their interesting and attractive appearance and hardiness; the various species differ in their requirements. Numerous hybrid cultivars have been developed, of which the following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-'Herbstfreude"Bertram Anderson"Matrona"Ruby Glow' The leaves of most stonecrops are edible, excepting Sedum rubrotinctum, although toxicity has been reported in some other species. Sedum reflexum, known as "prickmadam", "stone orpine", or "crooked yellow stonecrop", is used as a salad leaf or herb in Europe, including the United Kingdom.
It has a astringent sour taste. Sedum divergens, known as "spreading stonecrop", was eaten by First Nations people in Northwest British Columbia; the plant is used as a salad herb by the Nisga'a people. It is common in the Nass Valley of British Columbia. Biting Stonecrop contains high quantities of piperidine alkaloids, which give it a sharp, acrid taste and make it somewhat toxic. Sedum can be used to provide a roof covering in green roofs. Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant's living roof has 454,000 square feet of sedum. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars plant in Goodwood, has a 242,000 square feet roof complex covered in Sedum, the largest in the United Kingdom. Nintendo of America's roof is covered in some 75,000 square feet of Sedum; the Javits Center in New York City is covered with 292,000 square feet of Sedum. Media related to Sedum at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Sedum at Wikispecies "Sedum". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Drought Smart Plants Sedum Society Sedum Yellow Stonecrop
The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in England. It was also responsible for Forestry in Wales and Scotland, however on 1 April 2013 Forestry Commission Wales merged with other agencies to become Natural Resources Wales, whilst two new bodies were established in Scotland on 1 April 2019; the commission was set up in 1919 to expand Britain's forests and woodland after depletion during the First World War. To do this, the commission bought large amounts of former agricultural land becoming the largest land owner in Britain; the Commission is divided into three divisions: Forestry England, Forestry Commission and Forest Research. Over time the purpose of the Commission broadened to include many other activities beyond timber production. One major activity is scientific research, some of, carried out in research forests across Britain. Recreation is important, with several outdoor activities being promoted. Protecting and improving biodiversity across England's forests are part of the Forestry Commission's remit.
The Commission received criticism for its reliance on conifers the uniform appearance of conifer forests and concerns over a lack of biodiversity. Protests from the general public and conservation groups accompanied attempts to privatise the organisation in 1993 and 2010. Prior to the setting up of separate bodies for Scotland the Forestry Commission managed 700,000 hectares of land in England and Scotland, making it the country's biggest land manager; the majority of the land was in Scotland, 30% of the landholding is in England. Activities carried out on the forest estate include maintenance and improvement of the natural environment and the provision of recreation, timber harvesting to supply domestic industry, regenerating brownfield and replanting of harvested areas. Afforestation was the main reason for the creation of the commission in 1919. Britain had only 5% of its original forest cover left and the government at that time wanted to create a strategic resource of timber. Since forest coverage has doubled and the commission's remit expanded to include greater focus on sustainable forest management and maximising public benefits.
Woodland creation continues to be an important role of the commission and works with government to achieve its goal of 12% forest coverage by 2060, championing initiatives such as The Big Tree Plant and Woodland Carbon Code. The Forestry Commission is the government body responsible for the regulation of private forestry in England; the Commission is responsible for encouraging new private forest growth and development. Part of this role is carried out by providing grants in support of private woodlands; the Forestry Commission was established as part of the Forestry Act 1919. The board was made up of eight forestry commissioners and was chaired by Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat from 1919 to 1927; the commission was set up to increase the amount of woodland in Britain by buying land for afforestation and reforestation. The commission was tasked with promoting forestry and the production of timber for trade. During the 1920s the Commission focused on acquiring land to begin planting out new forests.
During the Great Depression the Forestry Commission's estate continued to grow so that it was just over 360,000 hectares of land by 1934. The low cost of land, the need to increase timber production meant that by 1939 the Forestry Commission was the largest landowner in Britain. At the outbreak of the Second World War the Forestry Commission was split into the Forest Management Department, to continue with the Commission's duties, the Timber Supply Department to produce enough timber for the war effort; this division lasted until 1941, when the Timber Supply Department was absorbed by the Ministry of Supply. Much of the timber supplied for the war came from the Forest of Dean; the war saw the Commission introduce the licensing system for tree felling. By the end of the war a third of available timber had been cut down and used; the advisory committee on Forest Research was formed in 1929 to guide the research efforts of the Forestry Commission. After the war, the Commission began to increase its research output significantly.
This included the establishment of three research stations beginning with Alice Holt Lodge in 1946. The expansion in research accompanied a significant increase in timber sales, exceeding £2 million per year during the 1950s; the Countryside Act 1968 required public bodies, including the Forestry Commission, to "have regard to the desirability of conserving the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside." This forced the Commission to focus on conservation and recreation as well as the production and sale of timber. The conservation effort was driven by Peter Garthwaite and Sylvia Crowe. Crowe helped the Commission landscape their forests to make them more appropriate for recreational use. Having begun to develop campsites within their forests during the early 1960s, the Commission set up a Forest Cabins Branch during the 1970s to expand the number of cabins available for the public to stay in during their holidays. In 1970 the Commission opened its Northern research station in Roslin; the 1970s saw the publication of a Treasury report which stated "afforestation... and replanting fell far short of achieving the official 10% return on investment" with concerns over the long term profitability of timber production.
This was coupled with a major outbreak of Dutch elm