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Strategic Nature Areas (SNAs)

Strategic Nature Areas (SNAs)

  • SNAs are NOT designated areas.  They are areas of Devon’s countryside which contain higher than average concentrations of existing wildlife habitats such as native woodlands, flower rich grasslands, bogs and heathland (many of these habitats will have an international, national or local designation).  For simplicity each SNA is classified on the map according to the dominant habitat type (e.g. East Devon Pebblebed Heaths is classed as lowland heathland). However the majority of SNAs are a mix of different wildlife habitats and other land uses.

  • The aim for each SNA is to ensure that the condition, area and distribution of the wildlife habitats within it can support populations of characteristic species e.g. the area and condition of habitat at Rackenford Moor SNA should support populations of marsh fritillary butterfly. 


  • Devon’s Nature Map is used to focus efforts for maintaining, restoring and re-creating habitats and the conservation of associated species.  Example uses include: Providing the focus for the DWT Working Wetlands project

  • Providing the focus for landscape conservation efforts within Dartmoor National Park and the development of Living Dartmoor.  Note that SNAs are known as Key Wildlife Areas within the Dartmoor Strategy.  A delivery plan is being developed for each Key Wildlife Area

  • Targeting of funding such as the New England Land Management Scheme. 

In order to ensure that any work in SNAs strengthens landscape character please see

Updates to SNA boundaries / profiles

  • 2010.  Craig Dixon (Devon Biodiversity Officer) carried out a consultation process across Devon to update the South West Nature Map SNA boundaries.

  • 2013.  Changes made to SNA boundaries by East Devon AONB (Pete Youngman) and Dartmoor National Park Authority (Norman Baldock).

  • 2014.  Changes brought together by DBRC to create the Rebuilding Devon’s Nature Map.

Future updates to SNA boundaries / profiles – the process…..

  • Boundary changes / updated SNA profiles should then be sent to DBRC’s Manager for sign off by the Devon Nature Map group.
  • Provided everything is ok DBRC will then place the amended SNAs boundaries / profiles on its website.

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