Habitats and Birds
The Habitats Directive has lead to the establishment of a network of protected sites known as Natura 2000 sites.
In the UK the Habitats Regulations implement the Directive. Ramsar, Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) sites form part of this network. Under national legislation, these sites are also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), however not all SSSIs are Natura 2000 sites.
A Defra report from 2004 indicated that the number of SACs in the UK will stand at 577 sites, totalling over 2,341,600 ha. Natural England (NE) are the statutory body responsible for the sites (NE have replaced English Nature).
Regulatory authorities are required to protect designated Habitats, thus when farmers apply for Permits, such as Environmental Permits and abstraction licences, the potential impact on these habitats must be assessed. Licences and permits may not be granted if damage may be inflicted upon these Habitats. Some established farms are required to reduce their ammonia emissions in order to comply with their EPR Permit conditions.
These regulations can restrict the development of livestock farms.