Who is Responsible?

Competent and Relevant Authorities

Under the English and Scottish Habitat Regulations, Competent Authorities include any Minister, government department, public or statutory undertaker, public body of any description or person holding a public office. Competent Authorities must have regard to the EC Birds and Habitats Directive in the exercise of any of their functions or duties.

Relevant Authorities are defined as those which exercise statutory powers over the marine and intertidal area and are therefore directly involved in the management of marine Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of Conservation. Relevant Authorities must have regard to the EC Birds and Habitats Directives when performing their functions or duties.

Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies

The Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies – Natural England in England, Scottish Natural Heritage in Scotland – have a duty under the English and Scottish Habitat Regulations to advise other Relevant Authorities as to the conservation objectives for marine Special Protection Areas and Spacial Areas of Conservation.

They are also required to provide advice on activities and pressures that might cause deterioration or disturbance to the habitats or species for which the site has been designated. This advice informs the development of management measures for a site and informs decisions on the impact of proposed activities.

Natural England is currently reviewing the Conservation Advise for all marine Special Protection Areas and Spacial Areas of Conservation within English waters and it is expected that all sites, along with the emerging Marine Conservation Zones, will have new advice in place by April 2016. Until then, advice written under Regulation 33 of the 1994 Habitat Regulations (which were applied in England as well as Scotland before the English revision in 2010) is still used to inform the management of sites. This advice is known as the Regulation 33 Advice Package and contains conservation objectives and advice on operations likely to damage.

Click here to download advice for the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast EMS


Site Users and the Public

The Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast is a stunning place to spend your time. People flock from all over the world to visit our beautiful shores and to delve into our clear waters. The area has an important fishing culture that has been established for thousands of years, and the coastal strip supports local residents living close to the sea. People use and enjoy this wonderful area in many ways. You can help us to protect it by respecting the sensitive nature of our coastal and marine environment, by following the Seashore Code of Conduct  and by taking litter home with you. Thank you for your help!