Environment and conservation maps

This section includes five maps that consider, local, national and international designations for the Lancashire-14 area, and agricultural land classifications. The last mentioned shows how the large amount of green belt land in West Lancashire has a grade 1 agricultural classification.

Conservation: international designations

A number of areas in Lancashire have been designated with statutory protected status under European law on account of their value as wildlife habitats, landscape quality or unique geomorphology. These sites range from the extensive areas of upland moorland and coast intertidal zones classed as Special Protection Areas (SPAs), down to individual sites which may be less than 1 hectare in size. Some sites may also have the benefit of more than one overlapping but complementary designation. 

In the downloads panel below find a map of international designations (PDF 2.59 MB) in the Lancashire-14 area, or the interactive PDF version (PDF 2.56 MB), in which most of the map layers can be turned on and off. For the latter the document needs to be opened in Adobe Reader, which may involve saving the file, depending on which browser you are using.

Conservation: national and local designations

In addition to Statutory International designations, environment protection is also provided by English and other UK law to designated areas which include sites of special scientific interest. Local authorities are also empowered to make local designations following discussion with recognised conservation bodies such as the Wildlife Trusts or Natural England, the agency dedicated to nature conservation and stewardship. Examples of local designations include Local Nature Reserves and County Heritage Sites. The latest maps include Marine Conservation Zones, some of which were first designated in 2013, and the West Pennine Moors SSSI, designated in 2016 plus Local Geodiversity Sites, which replace the former Geological Heritage sites.

In the downloads panel below find a map of national and local designations (PDF 2.34 MB) in the Lancashire-14 area, or the interactive PDF version (PDF 2.75 MB), in which some of the map layers can be turned on and off. For the latter the document needs to be opened in Adobe Reader, which may involve saving the file, depending on which browser you are using.

Agricultural land classifications

Agricultural Land Classifications (ALC) were first issued between 1965 and 1975 by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF). This classified agriculture land according to its potential for food production based on soil type, topography and climate. The gradings range from the highest (Grade 1) down to progressively lower quality land (Grade 5) or land not in agricultural use or which is classed as Urban.

In the downloads panel below find a map of agricultural land classifications (PDF 430 KB) in the Lancashire-14 area.

There have been no overall re-surveys since the 1970s with the result that the ALC under-estimates the amount of urban land due to encroachment by development on former grade 3 land. Additionally some settlements such as the ribbon development towns in the Rossendale Valley and semi rural settlements in other areas were not included as urban land in the original survey.

Page updated May 2017