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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Natura features

This item supports action on or adjacent to SSSIs and Natura sites aimed at bringing the special features of interest into favourable condition.

We will provide you with assistance towards the eligible costs of bringing the special features on the protected site into favourable condition, where:

  • the cost of the required action or effort is significantly higher than the standard cost, or
  • there are no standard costs for the operation you propose.

The work must be necessary to bring the qualifying interests of SSSIs and Natura sites into favourable condition.

You must justify why the standard costs are not appropriate and provide a detailed breakdown of the work required and the associated costs.

You must agree the eligible costs in advance with your Case Officer.

For example, the following items may be eligible:

  • fencing on remote or difficult terrain or
  • control of invasive species, especially rhododendron, on steep slopes.

Payment Rate/Actual Cost


We will make a variable rate capital payment of up to 100% of eligible costs, depending on the requirement to allow the project to go ahead.

You may claim for what is agreed in your contract. You can only claim payment in the year, or years, stated in your Schedule of Works. You may submit either an interim claim or a final claim for the activities in your Schedule of Works. Each payment will be paid in arrears. Please see the claims guidance for information about how and when to claim, referring to the sections about Actual Cost Capital Items.

Where own labour or vehicles are used please refer to the guidance on payment rates.

Please also note that Machinery and/or Labour timesheets must be completed where own machinery or labour is used.