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Special sites

NPT is lucky to have so many special sites. The most important of these are designated under law.  To see what’s in your area take a look at the Natural Resources Wales protected sites map.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

A network of sites across Europe protected under the European Union’s Habitats Directive.


Wetlands protected under an international agreement signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. Crymlyn Bog is a RAMSAR, SAC, SSSI and NNR.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest SSSI

These are designated by Natural Resources Wales under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

National Nature Reserve (NNR)

The best national examples of habitats, geology and wildlife. They are managed by Natural Resources Wales and are open to visitors.

Local Nature Reserves (LNR)

Sites that offer opportunities to study and enjoy nature. They are managed by NPTCBC.

We currently have 5 LNRs:

  • Eaglesbush Valley
  • Pany-y-Sais Fen
  • Swansea Canal
  • Cwm Du Glan & Glanrhyd Plantation
  • Bryn Tip 

Have you every been to Bryn Tip LNR? A wonderful place for nature on the outskirts of the village of Bryn in Neath Port Talbot, the nature reserve is worth a visit at any time of year. Join us on a virtual tour of Bryn Tip to learn more about the site and why it is so special:

This video and the works which have taken place at Bryn Tip this year have taken place thanks to funding from @National Lottery Heritage Fund Local Places for Nature. 

Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

These are designated by the Local Planning Authority through the Local Development Plan. All sites identified to date are available from the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC). All qualifying habitats and species will be considered the same way as those already identified, in line with the Wales Biodiversity Partnership Wildlife Sites Guidance Wales, with any local amendments detailed in the Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Guidance to be published in 2017.  The list of sites that is held by SEWBReC will be updated as additional qualifying sites are identified, whilst those that no longer meet the criteria will be removed. 

For more information on legislation see our Law and Advice section.