Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI): Protecting England's natural treasures Sites of Special Scientific Interest (NE306)

Condition assessments for SSSIs


All SSSI land is assessed against the six 'conditions' described below. All sites are divided into units (although some only have one). Each unit is assessed separately and this can often result in a mix of Favourable, Unfavourable and Destroyed units across one SSSI. Each unit should be assessed at least every six years.

SSSI condition states

Favourable
The SSSI is being adequately conserved and is meeting its 'objectives'.

Unfavourable recovering
Often known simply as 'recovering', SSSI units are not yet fully conserved but all the necessary management measures are in place. Provided that the recovery work is sustained, the SSSI will reach favourable condition in time.

Unfavourable no change
The special interest of the SSSI unit is not being conserved and will not reach favourable condition unless there are changes to the site management or external pressures. The longer the SSSI unit remains in this poor condition, the more difficult it will be, in general, to achieve recovery.

Unfavourable declining
The special interest of the SSSI unit is not being conserved and will not reach favourable condition unless there are changes to site management or external pressures. The site condition is becoming progressively worse.

Part destroyed
Lasting damage has occurred to part of the special conservation interest of an SSSI unit, such that it has been irretrievably lost and will never recover. Conservation work may be needed on the residual interest of the land.

Destroyed
Lasting damage has occurred to all the special conservation interest of the SSSI unit, such that it has been irretrievably lost. This land will never recover.

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