Reference Allocation Policy

Policy for Reference Allocation

The initial GxFF allocations (up to GFF-0241) appear to have had no coherent logic… the following policy applies to new allocations, and will be applied retrospectively as applicable:

National Parks

  • All National Parks are already allocated a GxFF reference.
  • Other areas within the Park boundary may be allocated a separate reference.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

  • Also applied to National Scenic Areas in Scotland.
  • All English and Welsh AONBs are already allocated a GxFF reference.
  • All Scottish NSAs will (eventually) be allocated a GMFF reference.
  • Other areas within the Area boundary may be allocated a separate reference.

Natura 2000

  • The Natura2000 network encompasses all Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).
  • All Natura2000 sites will (eventually) be allocated a GxFF reference.  Note: where an Area is not contiguous, a single reference will usually be allocated, or in some instances, multiple references may be allocated.
  • Where an area has both SPA and SAC designation, the GxFF reference shall cover the wider combined area (even if not concurrent).
  • Where an area includes parts of Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Importance (SSSIs) or RAMSAR designated sites, the GxFF reference shall also cover the wider combined area (even if not concurrent).

RAMSAR Designation

  • Encompasses all sites designated under the RAMSAR convention.
  • Where an area is included within a Natura2000 designated area, a separate reference shall not normally be assigned.
  • All standalone RAMSAR sites will (eventually) be allocated a GxFF reference.
  • Where an area includes part of Nature Reserves or Sites of Special Scientific Importance (SSSIs), the GxFF reference shall also cover the wider combined area.

National Nature Reserves

  • Where a NNR is included within a Natura2000 designated area, a separate reference shall not normally be assigned.
  • All standalone NNRs will (eventually) be allocated a GxFF reference.
  • Where a NNR covers only part of a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI), the GxFF reference shall also cover the wider combined area.

Sites of Special Scientific Importance

  • Where an SSSI is included within a Natura2000, RAMSAR or NNR designated area, a separate reference shall not normally be assigned.
  • In general, standalone SSSIs are not currently allocated a GxFF reference.

Other International Designations

Other International designations will be considered on a case by case basis.  For example, the following will normally qualify for a GxFF reference (where the site is not already part of a wider designated area):

Other UK Designations

In general, sites that have not been Designated at National or International level are unlikely to qualify for a GxFF reference in their own right.

This includes, but is not limited to, sites such as:

  • Local Nature Reserves
  • Country Parks

Of course, these sites may be included within a wider area, if a qualifying designation applies!