Nature conservation

There is a wide variety of natural habitats within our landscape. The protection and enhancement of these habitats with their plant and animal species are guided by environmental legislation and through policies being developed in the new Local Plan.

The Sherwood Forest area is currently being considered as a future Special Protection Area (SPA) (opens in a new window), which is a site of European importance. It is being looked at as part of a UK-wide review led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affaris (DEFRA) (opens in a new window).

SPAs are designated to protect rare and vulnerable bird populations and their habitats, in this case, Nightjar and Woodlark.

Although the area is under review, Natural England (opens in a new window) has advised us that we should take a risk-based approach [968kb] (opens in new window) towards development in order to avoid or reduce its impact upon the protected birds and their habitats.

Our approach is set out in the following documents:

Nationally important sites

There are six sites in our district that have been labelled as Sites of Special Scientific Intrerest (SSSI) (opens in a new window). These are protected sites which have significant nature conservation value.

Policies NE12 & NE14 of the Mansfield District Local Plan 1998 (Chapter 4 - Environment) apply to development that would affect an SSSI area.

Locally important sites

Mansfield has many sites of local nature conservation importance. There are over 80 Local Wildlife Sites (opens in a new window) and nine Local Nature Reserves in the district.

In addition to nature conservation, sites can also be designated for their geological interest. These sites are known as Local Geological Sites (opens in a new window). There are 13 in the district.

Policy NE14 of the Mansfield District Local Plan 1998 relates to development that would affect these areas. Sites which contain important areas of heathland are covered specifically by Policy NE15.

Protected species

A number of species are protected by national and european laws (opens in a new window). The presence of protected species, such as bats, in the district is taken into account in planning applications.