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Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Jasmine Arnould

This page is designed to explain the ‘Special Protection Areas’ data hosted in our map-based platform Land Explorer. This data shows land that is legally designated for bird conservation protection.

What is this data?

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are sites protected under the European Commission Birds Directive, designated for rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Why is it useful?

Depending on the SPA, the local planning authorities may prohibit development and restrict some activities on and near the area. Knowing whether you are located near an SPA may indicate whether you will need to ask for consent to carry out certain activities. This data also provides more in depth details of the SPA in question, including the organisation responsible for the site and the types of habitats designated for conservation.

How do I use/ interact with it?

Simply look at the particular area you are interested in to see if there are any SPAs. If you are more generally looking for SPAs in the UK, go to the planning restrictions page of Land Explorer, and navigate the map in the SPA section.

Learn more:


License information:

License: Open Government License (OGL)

Information provider: Joint Nature Conservation Committee (DEFRA)

Title of the information resource: Special Protection Areas (UK)

Date it was published: 24/10/2016

Link to the information:

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