Working in protected areas

Use our heritage and nature conservation screening report service

Designated site screening for permit applications

You can use our designated sites tool to identify protected species and habitats close to your proposed activity.

The tool provides information on the following designations:
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest
- Special Areas of Conservation
- Special Protection Areas
- Ramsar

How do I use the tool?

You can search using the designated site name or the county your activity is in, and the type of designation. Full instructions are available on the screening tool webpage.

It’s important to remember that screening distances for permit applications are taken from the boundary of the proposed site/activity, and not the centre.

How can the information help me?

If you’re applying for a bespoke permit:
You can use this information to help complete the required site specific risk assessment.

If you’re applying for a standard rule permit:
The information can help identify whether you can meet some of the location criteria for the standard rule set(s) you want.

However, it’s important to remember that other location criteria apply to most standard rule permits. Even if your proposed activity (site) is not within distance of a designated site on the screening tool, you still may not meet all relevant location criteria for the rule set you want.  We suggest you contact us for formal pre-application advice (see below) on whether you can meet all relevant location criteria.

How can I get further advice?

If you’re still unsure about whether you need to consider designated sites, or how they may impact your activity, you can contact us to discuss your future application. We offer a pre-application advice and guidance service for all permit applications.

You can obtain up to 1 hour free support for standard rule and deployment applications, and up to 15 hours of free support for bespoke applications. You can talk to your local compliance officer if you already have one.  Or you can contact us on 0300 065 3000 (Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm).