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Special Protection Area

A Special Protection Area or SPA is a designation under the European Commission Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (79/409/EEC).

Member States of the European Union have a duty to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain particularly threatened birds.

Each SPA has an EU code, e.g. the North Norfolk Coast SPA has the code UK9009031.

SPAs are composed of one or more SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest) or ASSIs (Areas of Special Scientific Interest), e.g. Broadland SPA is a collection of 28 SSSIs or ASSIs.

Together with Special Area of Conservation or SACs, the SPAs form a network of protected sites across the European Union, called Natura 2000.

In the United Kingdom, there are 87 proposed or designated SPAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

List of SPAs