Natural England - Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is one of the country's very best wildlife and/or geological sites. SSSIs include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats: wetlands teeming with wading birds, winding chalk rivers, flower-rich meadows, windswept shingle beaches and remote upland peat bogs.

Rideside bird cherry and bluebells, Swanton Novers SSSI, Norfolk © Peter Wakely

Swanton Novers SSSI, Norfolk

There are over 4,100 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in England, covering around 8% of the country's land area. More than 70% of these sites (by area) are internationally important for their wildlife and designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) or Ramsar sites.

Many SSSIs are also National Nature Reserves (NNRs) or Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).

Further information

Restoration plans