Common Standards Monitoring (CSM)

Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report 2006

Common Standards Monitoring BooksThe first 6 year report on common standards monitoring was launched on 12 June 2006.   It assesses the species, habitats and geology on over 6,000 of the UK’s protected areas, based on around 13,000 assessments made in the past six years. 


What is Common Standards Monitoring?
One of the key responsibilities of the statutory nature conservation agencies in the UK is the identification and protection of a series of sites intended to conserve important wildlife and earth science features. Such sites may be designated under:
  • National legislation (Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Britain and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) in Northern Ireland),
  • European Directives (Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs)), or
  • International Conventions (Ramsar sites).


Once sites have been designated, the country agencies work with owners, occupiers and others to secure their management and protection.
Common Standards Monitoring is intended to be:
  • A simple, quick, assessment of feature condition.
  • For protected sites (SAC, SPA, Ramsar, SSSI, ASSI).
  • Supported by limited, more detailed monitoring.
'Features' are the species, habitats and geological and geomorphological characteristics for which sites are protected.  For example, they might be
  • seals, butterflies, breeding birds
  • woodlands, lagoons, heathlands
  • fossils, landforms