NC2 Sites of International Importance for Nature Conservation Policy
The following are sites of international importance for nature conservation. Their boundaries are shown on the Proposals Map:
1. The Dee Estuary Wetland of International Importance and Special Protection Area
2. The Mersey Estuary Wetland of International Importance and Special Protection Area
Proposals which have potential to damage the nature conservation interests which underlie the designation of these sites will be dealt with in accordance with Policy NC1.
Reasoned justification :
13.10 Policy NC1 provides for the special protection of areas designated by the UK Government under international conventions or under the Directives of the European Union. Proposal NC2, therefore, lists those sites to which international obligations for conservation are known to apply.
13.11 The Dee Estuary has been designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and as a Special Protection Area under the EC Wild Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) in recognition of it’s importance for wintering wildfowl and waders. It regularly supports internationally important numbers of wintering shelduck, teal, pintail oystercatcher, knot, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, curlew, redshank and turnstone and nationally important numbers of wintering scaup, grey plover, sanderling and breeding little tern.
13.12 The Mersey Estuary is similarly designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and as a Special Protection Area under the EC Wild Birds Directive (79/409/EEC). The Estuary supports internationally important populations of wintering Shelduck, Teal, Pintail, Dunlin and Redshank, together with nationally important numbers of wintering Widgeon, Grey Plover, Black-Tailed Godwit and Curlew.
13.13 As designated Special Protection Areas, the Dee and Mersey Estuaries form part of the Natura 2000 network under the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). National Governments are specifically required to protect such areas in order to avoid any deterioration of the natural habitat and to prevent disturbance to the species for which the area has been designated, unless the project is of over-riding public interest and appropriate compensatory measures can be secured.