Talk:National nature reserve (United Kingdom)

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I notice that this series of articles/stubs/disambig pages all have tags on them and that there seem to be a lot of links. The most peculiar thing about these links is that when you start to follow them down to try to find out something concrete about all these designations and organizations you get no further ahead than when you started!

I thought, well let me confine myself to the United States, where I live. Maybe then I will understand who is making these designations and what they mean and what authority they have and what organizations public or private are involved, but no dice. This series of articles seems to have created a total fantasy world, or rather, the Wikipedia network reflects a general Internet fantasy network. Nearly every one has tags asking who, what, when, why, where.

Now, the overall impression I get from the whole network is that all the words are based ultimately on changes to the British corpus of law, which requires this and that and offers something else to qualified organizations. That is about all the clarity I get. What we need here is someone to say, according to sections x, y, z of the blah blah blah act, the British government establishes or offers the opportunity to establish organizations to do thus and so and here is the authority granted to them, and the following organizations perform these functions and they do blah blah blah and are located at blah blah blah and publish the following periodicals, which are available at blah blah blah. Until someone can do that we are just not going to know what the heck is going on.

Someone with some expertise and a modicum of ability to express himself/herself in concrete English needs to take this in hand.Dave 20:25, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


Can someone point me to the discussion where it was agreed to change "National Nature Reserve" to "National nature reserve"? I consider this a wholly retrograde step. Apart from its inherent wrongness, now we have silly inconsistencies like this at Skomer: "Skomer is a national nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area." Or are the capital-phobic illiterates going to turn their attention to these other (correctly capitalised) formal designations? To my mind, this change introduces ambiguity and has no redeeming feature. Dave.Dunford (talk) 13:25, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Forgive me if I answer your question in a circuitous way. I fully agree with your concerns about lack of capitalisation, and came here to make that point myself and was pleased to find it already made. The terms National Nature Reserve (NNR), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR) are all statutory designations. Quite why NNRs and LNRs should have had capitalisation removed, yet SSSIs escape unscathed is confusing. I work with these designations, day in/day out, and frequently encounter public confusion about them. Maybe I have a WP:COI, but would have strongly recommended reinstatement of capitalisation of the terms as proper nouns, not only because of their legal status and common usage, but as well as for clarity and the avoidance of ambiguity.
The fact that there is a world of difference between a local nature reserve which has to be owned and formally declared by a local council in cooperation with Natural England (and has heightened protection across a range of local and national planning documents and guidelines) and the numerous nature reserves which are named and managed locally by individuals, wildlife conservation groups or schools, seems to be overlooked. All these will be referred to by nearby residents as their local nature reserve, but there is clearly a difference between the two - except maybe not in the way Wikipedia wants to have them presented. Interestingly, I have undertaken scientific studies at two of my local nature reserves (ie near me) that are not statutorily designated as local nature reserves, even though they are local and they are nature reserves, and some might even say these local nature reserves are special sites which have a scientific interest, and could even go so far as to collectively describe them as sites of special scientific interest. For now, at least, I can clearly point out that they are definitely not Sites of Special Scientific Interest. But for how much longer?
I suspect wikipedantry is winning over wikiclarity. Do look at the Talk page of local nature reserve for an archive last year of a 7 day discussion by the 'experts' in this field and their decision which, sadly, is very relevant here. It appears numerous other well-named and unambiguous articles with sensible capitalisation will also soon come in for a mauling in this way, just as national nature reserves has, too. Say farewell to the World Heritage Site, it can't last much longer. Parkywiki (talk) 23:38, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your support. Sadly I think that battle has been lost here and elsewhere, despite the lack of convincing counter-arguments from those determined to eliminate the capitals on spurious grounds. They seem to be unaware that the use of capital letters to denote a specific meaning for the capitalised words – as in "the Government" to imply the specific government of the polity under discussion – is a legitimate and long-standing usage, and that without it, as you rightly note, we lose the distinction between a formal designation and a generic description; their position seems to be based on an oversimplified belief that only proper nouns can ever be capitalised, and I and others were unable to persuade them of the error of their ways. Dave.Dunford (talk) 11:07, 21 September 2015 (UTC)