Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI) are areas and sites that are protected in the United Kingdom in order to conserve and facilitate the continuation of habitats containing significant flora, fauna and/or geology.
Every SSSI has a 'citation' document which demonstrates the scientific reasons that an SSSI should merit it's status. This can range from rare and endangered species of plants and animals, to nationally or locally important outcrops of a particular rock type. Other reasons include important environment types (moorland, wetland and bogs etc) and high levels of bio-diversity.
This tool allows the contents of every SSSI citation to be searched. This will allow the location of the best SSSI that cites a particular species of animal or plant. It will also allow the location of an SSSI that has a particular geological feature or rock type. In fact, any word that is quoted within the citation for a SSSI can be looked for. The more words used in the search, the more relevant the list becomes.
The content of the citations were derived from the publically accessible SSSI citation documents stored at naturalengland.org.uk (for english SSSIs) or at snh.gov.uk (for scottish SSSIs). There are no details at present for the SSSIs in wales.
The source documents are either PDF, or in the case of many of the scottsh SSSI citations, Microsoft Word. The textual contents of each document was extracted an placed in the database driving this site. A link to the actual citation document can be found in the search listings. The relevance value is just an indicator of the frequency and position of the words sought for.
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Click here if you wish to find an SSSI by proximity to your postcode instead.