European Marine Site

Severn Estuary European Marine Site


© Merryn Thomas

European Marine Sites (EMS) collectively refer to the marine areas of both Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) that protect some of our most valuable marine and coastal species and habitats. Designated under the EC Habitats and Birds Directives, they form a network of internationally important sites across Europe. European Marine Sites are not statutory designations but act as a ‘management unit’.

To ensure that the strict protections afforded to sites, habitats and species continue, legislation through the Habitats and Birds Directives has been transposed into the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) in England and Wales via the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.  

Competent and Relevant Authorities bordering the Estuary have a statutory duty to manage their activities within the Severn Estuary EMS to minimise impacts and the associated deterioration of the European protected features. ASERA facilitates these Authorities to discharge their statutory duties in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

The Severn Estuary EMS is comprised of the following sites:

Click here to view the Regulation 33 Conservation Advice Package.

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