SNPA Strapline

State of the Park

Hen Harrier (© Keith O'Brien)

alt=View from Snowdon Summit

Nature Conservation

Areas of nature conservation importance in the United Kingdom are protected under various pieces of national and international legislation.

Natura 2000 is the name of the European Union wide network of nature conservation sites. The network was established under Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Wild Fauna and Flora (the ‘Habitats Directive). This network comprises of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).


The Welsh Government has indicated that in planning terms sites designated under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, agreed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, are to be treated the same as Natura 2000 sites. Originally intended to protect sites of importance especially as waterfowl habitat, the Convention has broadened its scope over the years to cover all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use, recognising wetlands as ecosystems that are extremely important for biodiversity conservation in general and for the well-being of human communities.

In 2014 there were 7 Ramsar sites in Wales (covering 11,366 ha). Of these, 3 are located within Snowdonia totalling 882.5ha .

Designation*Area (ha)
  Terrestrial SAC56,665.5

Land Managed in Line with Conservation Objectives

126,303.87ha of land in the National Park is managed in line with conservation objectives (Source: Snowdonia National Park Authority, 2008).