Update to the Reference Allocation Policy

Allocation of references within GxFF is determined by the Reference Allocation Policy.

We have been approached about adding Llanelli Wetland Centre (owned and managed by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust). At first glance this was declined, as the site is not designated, according to our policy.

However, on further consideration, it was noted that several of the other WWT sites are already listed (eg Arundel, Martin Mere, Slimbridge), and that WWT is a globally renowned group in conservation circles.
Continue reading “Update to the Reference Allocation Policy”

GxFF Directory Changes

A number of changes to the GxFF Directory have been made:

New Areas

  • GFF-0422: The newly designated Saltwells NNR has been added, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement.
  • GFF-0423: Thames Basin Heaths SPA – Whitmoor Common SSSI has been added.
  • GFF-0424: Ashtead Heath NNR has been added.
  • GFF-0425: Bolton Fell and Walton Mosses NNR – Bolton Fell Moss SAC has been added.
  • GFF-0426: River Wensum SAC has been added.
  • GFF-0427: Hamford Water SPA/RAMSAR/NNR has been added.
  • GFF-0428: Pevensey Levels SPA/RAMSAR/NNR has been added.
  • GFF-0429: South Solway Mosses SAC – South Solway Mosses NNR – Glassom Moss SSSI has been added – this is a distinct area near to GFF-0083.
  • GFF-0430: Charnwood Lodge NNR has been added.

In addition, Team GxFF are discussing how to proceed with the new Purbeck Heaths NNR and its impact on the existing designated areas, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement.


  • GFF-0059: The King’s Wood and Rushmere NNR boundaries have been adjusted, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement.
  • GFF-0110: The Lower Derwent Valley NNR boundaries have been adjusted, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement. Note: the reference boundaries are unchanged, as it is all within the SPA/SAC/RAMSAR designated area.
  • GFF-0145: The Ribble and Alt Estuaries NNR boundaries have been adjusted, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement. As part of this, the contiguous Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB has been extended and designated as part of the NNR.
  • GFF-0150: The Marshside RSPB has become designated as part of the Ribble and Alt Estuaries NNR (see GFF-0145) – it will retain its separate reference.
  • GFF-0343: has been renamed as Cassop NNR, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement to rename and reduce it in size.
  • GFF-0372: has been renamed as Bolton Fell and Walton Mosses NNR – Walton Moss SAC, in accordance with Natural England’s announcement. The reference covers the whole of Walton Moss SAC, so the extension of the NNR within the SAC have no direct affect. The designation of Bolton Fell Moss SAC as an NNR is reflected in GFF-0425.

Where boundaries have changed, activators must ensure that their activation position is still within the designated areas!

Activity Post-Lockdown

The Covid rules across the UK provide a confusing mish-mash of restrictions:

  • On Wednesday 2nd December, the current English national-lockdown comes to an end, being replaced by a three-Tier system, which will last until (at least February).
  • In Wales, new restrictions (which have not yet been finalised) will come into force from Friday, 4 December.
  • Scots now find themselves in Level 4 restrictions, which will remain in place for three weeks.
  • Northern Ireland has entered a new circuit breaker, which will cover the two-week period from November 27 until December 11

Team GxFF have considered the available information and have decided that decisions whether to perform an activity should be left to the judgement of the activator, with due consideration to the rules in force at their home and at the target reference, and in particular with regards any travel restrictions in place.

Team GxFF reiterate that this is not an encouragement to undertake any activity, and accept no liability for any consequences of any decision by an activator to perform an activation.

We will, of course, keep monitoring any changes in the Rules…

Wealden Heaths Phase 2

This article is re-posted from M0YMA’s personal blog (originally posted 24th March 2016)


The original Wealden Heaths SPA was named Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons SPA and assigned WWFF reference GFF-0207.

Phase I of this SPA added further protection to the Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons SSSI, which also forms the southern part of the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC – the northern part of the SAC forms part of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (qv).

Phase II

Subsequently, the SPA has been extended and renamed, with the addition of four standalone SSSIs.  These have now been assigned WWFF GFF references as follows:

  • GFF-0355 = Devil’s Punch Bowl SSSI
  • GFF-0356 = Woolmer Forest SSSI and SAC
  • GFF-0357 = Bramshott and Ludshott Commons SSSI
  • GFF-0358 = Broxhead and Kingsley Commons SSSI

It is hoped that these will all be activated over the coming months.