§ Mr. Moynihan
A list of the sites in the United Kingdom covered under the Ramsar convention was given to the hon. Member in a written answer on 25 November.
In great Britain it is a prerequisite for Ramsar classification that sites must first have been notified as sites of special scientific interest. Such sites are protected by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which imposes restrictions on potentially damaging operations. In Northern Ireland similar protection is afforded to ASSIs. I shall shortly be issuing revised advice to local authorities emphasising the importance of giving due weight to the needs of nature conservation in considering development proposals affecting such designated sites.