national nature reserve (United Kingdom)



Some statutory nature reserves are designated by national bodies in the United Kingdom, and are known as national nature reserves.

Great Britain

Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of ...
, nature reserves designed under Part III of the
National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created the National Parks Commission which later became the Countryside Commission and then the Countryside Agency, which becam ...
that are deemed to be of national importance may be designated as statutory 'national nature reserves' by the relevant national nature conservation body (Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, or Natural Resources Wales) using section 35(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If a nature reserve is designated by a local authority in Great Britain, then the resulting statutory nature reserve will be referred to as a local nature reserve.


In England, 229 national nature reserves are designated by
Natural England Natural England is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and faun ...


Scotland Scotland (, ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the ...
, 43 national nature reserves are designated by
NatureScot NatureScot ( gd, NàdarAlba), which was formerly known as Scottish Natural Heritage, is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government responsible for the country's natural heritage, especially its natural, genetic and ...


Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 202 ...
, 76 national nature reserves are designated by Natural Resources Wales.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart √Čireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is variously described as a country, province or region. Nort ...
, statutory nature reserves are designated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.S.I. 1985/170 There are 47 NNRs in Northern Ireland.

See also

Nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna, or features of geological or o ...
* National nature reserve * Local nature reserve