In July, the Severn Estuary was classified as a Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA) under the EC Birds Directive, and as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The site, on both the English and the Welsh sides, covers in excess of 23,000 ha. Then, on 14th September, conservation and environmental bodies, which had presented evidence at a three-month-long public inqu

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