Site Improvement Plan - Isles of Scilly Complex

The final version of Natural England’s Site Improvement Plan for the Isles of Scilly has now been published. The aim of the plan is to give a high level overview of the issues affecting the quality and condition of the Natura 2000 sites in the islands – the Isles of Scilly Complex Special Area of Conservation and the Isles of Scilly Special Protected Area.

The Site Improvement Plan sets out priority issues and measures and an action table outlining what needs to be done and how much it would cost to improve the condition of the features on the sites.

The priority issues have been identified by Natural England as follows:

  • Invasive species such as rats that may affect breeding protected seabirds such as storm petrels and lesser black backed gulls and also seabird assemblage;

  •  Commercial fisheries management in order to protect sub-tidal sandbanks, reefs and grey seals;

  • Habitat fragmentation to monitor and assess hydrological changes to shore dock;

  • Public access and disturbance to reduce disturbance impacts on seals and seabirds;

  • Public access and disturbance to sub-tidal sandbanks to reduce impacts of mooring and anchoring in seagrass areas;

  • Water pollution by improving water quality by the installation of appropriate sewage treatment plants.

All of the above involve partnership agreements with various agencies including Defra, the Duchy of Cornwall, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, the Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Natural England, the RSPB, AONB and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust.

Although this Site Improvement Plan for the Isles of Scilly is not a legal document it does highlight major areas of concerns, particularly for the Council of the Isles of Scilly over water quality and sewerage improvements and the Isles of Scilly IFCA over management plans for regulating fishing activities in order to protect the marine environment. The Council is working closely with its key partners to assist in the implementation of these measures, particularly in relation to securing the necessary funding to facilitate improvements to the sewerage systems.

The final version may be accessed and downloaded by clicking here.

Publishing date: 
Friday, 17 October, 2014