Sites of Special Scientific Interest are known as SSSI's. In England alone there are over 4,000, which are the very best wildlife and geological sites and 70% of these are internationally important. SSSI's cover vast ranges of habitats. Each one is unique as they support a wide variety of flora and fauna species as well as interesting geological and physiographic features.
These habitats have been developed for over hundreds of years through management practices, including grazing and forestry. These sites are important for future generations and the species which would not be able to survive without this protection, therefore active management is needed to maintain these sites of conservation interest.
If a SSSI is identified to be internationally important, protection of this site can be slightly increased if designated to be a Special Area of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Ramsar sites (RAMSAR), National Nature Reserves (NNRs) or Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).
SSSI's are protected under the Wildlife and Country Side Act, 1981. This allows governing bodies to help protect, manage and safeguard these critically important parts of the environment.
The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust manages 24 SSSI's. Each one is important and requires efforts from everyone to keep these sites protected and some of our sites are also designated as an SAC, SPA and RAMSAR reflecting the importance of these areas for wildlife on an international level.
The Isles of Scilly is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Heritage Coast.