Special Environmental Sites and Schemes

5. Biosphere Reserves

These are protected area designations for individual sites designated as part of UNESCOs implementation of the Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves which was adopted in 1972. It is an international legal instrument that consolidates conservation of natural heritage of outstanding universal significance. Designation is applied to only the most internationally significant protected areas, with an adequate nationally defined legal framework and management infrastructure. Emphasis is placed on the management principles and designation has to include an undertaking to promote research, training and education on the site.

There are three Biosphere Reserves in England and all were designated in 1976.

  • Braunton Burrows (NNR), SW England = 596 ha
  • North Norfolk Coast, East Anglia = 5,497 ha
  • Moore House, Upper Teesdale, NW/E England = 7,399 ha
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