The Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) classification provides a means of identifying and safeguarding some of the county’s best sites for wildlife. The intention is to complement the network of internationally and nationally designated sites, helping to ensure the survival of important areas for wildlife.
Unlike sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) a local site designation does not imply any legal or statutory status and sites rely entirely upon sympathetic management by their owners for their conservation.
There are currently about 2200 Local Wildlife Sites in Somerset, encompassing important habitats such as flower-rich meadow and pasture, ponds, wetland, heathland, and ancient broadleaved woodland.
In Somerset the county’s Local Wildlife Sites Panel oversees Local Wildlife Sites. This panel includes representative from the local authorities and conservation organisations, including Somerset Wildlife Trust and SERC.
- A short guide to Local Wildlife Sites_2016
- Somerset Local Sites Guidelines 2010 [criteria codes starting with a 6]
- Local Wildlife Site Guidelines 1997 (revised 2004) [criteria codes starting with a 5]
- Local Wildlife Site Guidelines 1991 [criteria codes without a prefix]
- Somerset Notables Dictionary