Farne Islands SPA

Feature Condition

Marine Condition Assessments and Reporting Obligations

In 2016, Natural England trialled and rolled out a new condition assessment methodology that provides robust results and information on the condition of marine features within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Area Teams conduct these assessments following a standardised approach that assesses if feature- and site-specific targets have been met. More details on the method can be found here.

Under the EC Habitats Directive, which is relevant for Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), the United Kingdom is obliged to report on the conservation status of the habitats and species listed under Annexes I and II of the Directive every 6 years. There are similar reporting requirements under the Birds Directive, relevant for Special Protection Areas (SPAs).  Post EU Exit, the submission of these reports every 6 years will be to the Secretary of State, rather than the European Commission. Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, there is also a need to assess the achievement of conservation objectives for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). Alongside these reporting requirements, the ability to provide a current view of feature condition within protected sites is crucial to underpin advice on site management and casework. This ‘Designated Sites View’ web portal provides access to these condition assessment results. To date, condition assessments have been carried out for marine habitat features of a number of SACs, and will be carried out for other SACs in the future. However, different processes are currently in place to report on the condition of non-marine habitat features and species features of SACs, and on the condition of features in MCZs and SPAs.

Condition of Marine Features at this Site

The main part of the assessment process is directly undertaken and stored here in Natural England’s Designated Sites View. A summary of the most recent marine condition assessment is listed here if the site had an assessment completed. If you have questions about progress of the assessment at this site, please contact the local teams for further information by contacting enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk in the first instance, and stating the specific nature of your query, including the site you would like information on.

Feature Most recent assessmentFavourableUnfavourable RecoveringUnfavourable NoChangeUnfavourable DecliningPartially DestroyedDestroyedNot Assessed
Seabird assemblage*        
Sandwich tern, Sterna sandvicensis - A191, b*        
Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii - A192, b*        
Common tern, Sterna hirundo - A193, b*        
Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea - A194, b*        
Guillemot, Uria aalge - A199, b*        
* Features that are not included in the current Marine Condition Assessment
Please note, Natural England’s Marine Condition Assessment methodology is currently only applied to ‘marine habitat features’ listed in Annex I of the EC Habitats Directive. These are: coastal lagoons, estuaries, large shallow inlets and bays, mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide, reefs, sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time, and submerged or partially submerged sea caves. Other features (marine species, coastal habitats) are assessed using different methodologies (e.g. SSSI assessments, accessible on DSS on the site detail pages of the respective SSSI), or in some cases by the JNCC (e.g. marine mammals).

Full Details on Marine Condition Assessments carried out for this Site

Select a feature to show condition summary for features with completed and published assessments at the site: