Strategic Nature Areas

A guide to interpreting and using SNA profiles

These SNA profiles are subject to revision by partners as delivery progresses and better information is obtained. The profiles are designed to give a flavour of the nature conservation interest within the SNAs but they are not comprehensive records of that interest. Lack of reference to a habitat, species or feature should not be taken as proof that it is not present within the SNA.
The Strategic Nature Areas (SNAs) of the Gloucestershire Nature Map identify landscape-scale areas where there is opportunity for both the maintenance and, crucially, the restoration/expansion of Priority Habitat. As such, they collectively represent an extremely useful aid to targeting nature conservation action, e.g. within Nature Improvement Areas.
However, they are essentially just lines on a map with the primary habitat highlighted. To fulfil the potential of the Gloucestershire Nature Map people and organisations require information on SNAs to guide the delivery of sustainable land management, nature conservation projects, agri-environment and forestry schemes, Green Infrastructure planning, the location of new developments and so on.
By including some of this additional information, the SNA profiles allow a greater understanding of these local areas. They include:

  • A general summary of features which will influence biodiversity delivery such as geology and soils, landscape character, access, geodiversity and archaeology
  • A summary of the nature conservation designations
  • Mapping of nature conservation designations and available Priority Habitat information. A Lead Priority Habitat is the main habitat being focused on within the SNA. 
  • Actual and likely key delivery mechanisms (costs) required to achieve results

Using local knowledge and information collated from the County's biodiversity delivery projects, many of the SNA profiles will be further developed to include details about the practical opportunities for and constraints to nature conservation action on the ground. Biodiversity targets could also be calculated and refined, as and when adequate baseline data becomes available.

The SNA profiles are arranged by landscape areas (see "Priority Landscapes") for further information on these local integrated biodiversity delivery areas).

Click image below to access the "popup" SNA 'interactive' map.

Click to enlarge

What about the areas outside of the SNA's?
SNA's do not contain all the priority habitat in the county, nor do they include all the areas where priority habitat could exist, they identify where there is oppertunity to build coherent and resilent ecological networks across the county.
A focus on SNA's does not mean that areas outside the boundaries do not have any biodiversity or that biodiversity here should not be maintained and enhanced. It is a way of showing where conservation effort and limited resources can be targeted to achieve the best results for biodiversity and us.
Conservation action outside of SNAs will be directed towards encouraging the management (maintaining extent and achieving condition) of landscape features, sites (such as SSSIs and KWSs), Priority Habitats and the protection of Priority Species will be paramount.
SNAs should also be viewed in conjunction with any relevant Green Infrastructure Plans through which Local Planning Authorities aim to provide access to greenspace and the enhancement of biodiversity.
Land adjacent to or in the vicinity of SNAs may have similar potential for habitat restoration/creation and so should also be considered. Planning of conservation action will depend on the interest and willingness of landowners and communities both within and in the vicinity of any SNA.
Although SNAs have defined boundaries it is important that there is degree of flexibility in the interpretation of these boundaries. The boundaries of SNAs will be reviewed as conservation action takes effect and as new information comes to light.


Gloucestershire Nature Map -- Strategic Nature Areas GIS files
Download the ZIP file
(Size: 937KB)
Download the ZIP file
(Size: 459KB)
The digital boundaries have been produced by the Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Records (GCER) on behalf of the Local Nature Partnership and are derived from Ordnance Survey mapping.
See Glos Nature Map vers 1 1 Dec 2011 README.pdf for contextual background to Nature Map, including recent changes and frequently asked questions.
A Nature Map for Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Records hold and manage the definitive Nature Map for Gloucestershire on behalf of the Local Nature Partnership members.
For detailed information about the Gloucestershire Nature Map and SNA's, please email GCER. Other digital files may also be available from GCER.
Download SNA profiles
You are recommended to read the 'SNA profiles - explanatory guidance' for further details of the information contained within the profiles.
Download the PDF document ReadMe-SNA-Profiles.pdf
(Size: 90KB; 4 pages)
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