Template talk:Infobox Site of Special Scientific Interest

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Notification date[edit]

Users of this template may be aware that SSSIs have two notification dates; (Under 1949 Act) and (Under 1981 Act). This template only has space for one. I have not done a large statistical analysis, but I suspect the year has been applied inconsistently. As I see it, there are three alternatives.

  • 1—Use the 1949 date, or 1981 if not listed under 1949, as this shows when the site originally received SSSI status.
  • 2—Use the 1981 date as this is the current legislation.
  • 3—Expand the template to include both dates.

Any comments ++ MortimerCat (talk) 09:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I think option 1 is the appropriate one. Surely the total length of time a site has been an SSSI is the important factor - I wouldn't think that the process of renotification is something that an encyclopaedia article needs to concern itself with.  —SMALLJIM  15:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

My small survey indicates half the editors selected option 1, the other half selected option 2 - possibly indicating a random choice. I would personally choose option 1, although option 3 would force consistency. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 18:00, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I must admit I may have made some errors as I didn't even know this was an issue - I have just used whatever date the citation sheet says it was notified in. Almost all of mine would be in the lists at List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Avon & List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Somerset.— Rod talk 18:26, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I chose one at random from Avon, Cullimore's Quarry. This was notified in 1954 under the 1949 act, and in 1986 under the 1981 act. Just to be awkward, the article uses 1974, the last revision date under the 1949 act. It may just be me being pedantic, but I think we should set a general rule to keep them all consistant. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 19:02, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

In my view, we should aim for the "least surprise" option - i.e. date first notified under any of the acts. SP-KP (talk) 19:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Would it be worth doing a short guideline saying the date which should be used, the infobox to be used & provide guidance about what information should be included (both biological & geological) & add this to the set on Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography#Guidelines where there is already guidance about: districts, settlements, rivers, waterways etc?— Rod talk 20:08, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I have started to add documentation (Unfortunately I have to go and earn my living now so its incomplete at the moment). I think we all agree the date is the first notification date. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 07:12, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree that option 1 seems like the most logical; the earliest date of notification. Extra information can be provided in the article if it is really necessary, rather than adding more to the template, in my opinion! For a long time I have been thinking about starting an SSSI wikiproject or taskforce so that issues and editors can have a centralised place to talk. If anyone feels the urge to set one up that would be great - I have very little internet access at the moment. Suicidalhamster (talk) 13:01, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I would go for a taskforce of either Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography or Wikipedia:WikiProject Biota of Great Britain and Ireland.— Rod talk 13:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The taskforce should probably be listed at a number of "parent" wikiprojects; I have always considered SSSIs part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Protected areas. Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history has many taskforces which seem to work well, so they could be used as a model. Suicidalhamster (talk) 13:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Template description[edit]

I've added a line to the template to explain what it's actually for. Without the knowledge of this, it seems to me that the other fields (e.g. "Area of Search", "Interest"…) wouldn't make much sense to the average user. I've not edited a template before so if I've unwittingly disregarded some style guidelines, please amend.  —SMALLJIM  15:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Template change causing errors on various articles[edit]

A change to the template appears to be causing errors on the articles where it is displayed. I noticed this on Goblin Combe & the same errors giving details of the h-card format also appears on Aust Cliff, Banwell Caves.... I don't know enough about template syntax to be able to solve this.— Rod talk 10:06, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

This has been fixed by moving {{UF-hcard-place}} within the template - but it might be worth checking any further edits don't cause weird displays on the articles which use it.— Rod talk 10:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I've moved that, and the category & interwiki, to the documentation page. I've also added an optional coordinates parameter, to use {{coord}}. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 11:04, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Apologies, I should have checked the results of my edit before rushing off to work. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 21:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


Seeing as work is underway to revise the template would it be worth considering the map as we now have coords included? The template currently has a link to the Nature on the map site from English Nature, but would it be more useful to readers to use a local map which actualy appears on the article, as used by Template:Infobox UK place (hundreds of examples but Chew Stoke comes to mind) & Template:Infobox building which uses "| map_type =" & we have appropriate maps for all counties (again thousands of examples but Sutton Court comes to mind). Would including this sort of map make the context clearer for readers?— Rod talk 06:54, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the map, the reader will initially want some idea where the site is situated. The English Nature map initially appears as a close up, and you have to zoom right out before you get an idea where it is located. Instead of linking to the English Nature map I also suggest a single parametrised link to the SSSI information page at English Nature. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 07:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
My first dabble at more complex templates - adding a map - can be seen at User:MortimerCat/Sandbox using User:MortimerCat/Template. If people are in agreement with the map I will carry on and do it properly - at the moment it will break if there is no map defined, and it requires lat/long in two different parameters. Or if there is any experienced template makers who want to take over, please do. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 07:15, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't have enough knowledge to comment - but would suggest asking Andy User:Pigsonthewing who helped with this template a couple of days ago to help as I believe he is an expert on templates & coords etc.— Rod talk 08:27, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I can't help with that; but you could try asking at {{Infobox settlement}} (or copying its code) or at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 09:31, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
My completed template (with map) can be seen in use at User:MortimerCat/Sandbox. Just doing a bit of testing before I make it live. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 20:35, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Looking good but there might be a small problems for sites such as those in List of SSSIs in Avon. English Nature still uses Area of Search based on the 1974-1996 administrative counties which wikipedia may not have maps for & the template seems to use AOS to call up the map. In the Avon example this includes Bristol, parts of Somerset and bits of Gloucestershire - therefore the map function will not work for these - is there anyway of manually inserting the correct map?— Rod talk 07:59, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Good point, I will add a map section. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 08:55, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The template uses the aos name for the map. You can override this now using the parameter displaymap=Somerset. My sandbox page has an Avon example. Unfortunately map= is already being used as a parameter so I had to use displaymap= instead, unless anyone has a suggestion for a better parameter name. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 10:15, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Looking good & well done for finding a solution to that issue - the displaymap= option will need to be described in the instructions when it goes live.— Rod talk 10:42, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The revised template is now live - documentation will follow shortly. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 12:29, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Now in use on Aller and Beer Woods & Ebbor Gorge (well it is the example) - I think the line "|coordinates=..." needs to be removed from the blank. About to test on an Avon one.— Rod talk 14:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The coordinates parameter is still a valid option if you do not want a map for any reason. The instructions do need clarifying and tidying still, I am currently looking at other templates trying to get an idea of how best to do that. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 14:32, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Now working on Aust Cliff with displaymap option (because an Avon AOS) - what is enref going to be used for?— Rod talk 14:36, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
One day we could provide a standard link to the English Nature website, not sure which page or if we should. My theory was that if we are updating the articles, its easy enough to add the number, it does no harm being there, and allows for the future expansion. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 14:48, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Having now done a few the only thing I've noticed is that the SSSI template used to use hectares as the primary area measurement (as do English Nature) & now we use acres.— Rod talk 15:04, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

That is just a case of using {{convert|20|ha|km2 sqmi}} instead. The manual of style states that the units within the article should be consistent, so which version of the convert template you use will depend on how the units are treated in the rest of the article. ++ MortimerCat (talk) 15:25, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Map not found, image caption[edit]

When the aos is North Devon there is an error with the map, it really needs to somehow understand to plot the point on the map of Devon when North Devon is the aos. Also it would be great to add an image_caption= value, often there is only one image for an SSSI and they may need to be explained. (e.g. the blowout in the Braunton Burrows image). Cheers, Jack (talk) 11:59, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Okay ignore the first part of the post, sorry for not reading past posts carefully enough! Cheers, Jack (talk) 12:00, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Good idea - I have just implemented it ++ MortimerCat (talk) 07:13, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that, looks good. Cheers, Jack (talk) 18:23, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

enref parameter, update default URL[edit]

The default URL behind the enref parameter needs changing from http://www.english-nature.org.uk/Special/sssi/sssi_details.cfm?sssi_id= to http://www.sssi.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/sssi/sssi_details.cfm?sssi_id=. The current URL redirects to the SSSI home page. Grateful for pointer to where the default URL is stored. Patientone (talk) 22:54, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

YesY Done. — Richardguk (talk) 23:10, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
enref still points to the search page, not the site. Can anyone fix this? Dudley Miles (talk) 11:31, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Suitable only for England?[edit]

This infobox ignores other nations where SSSIs exist. In Wales they are administered by Natural Resource Wales. This Infobox also needs to show other fields such as SSSI ID and SSSI Codes. I'll work on the Welsh language infobox in the next couple of days, which will allow all nations of Britain to be shown. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 15:44, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I've amended this one for use on cy: here. However, there's a bit which alludes me! "Shown within Wales" under the map. Any pointers appreciated! Thanks. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 16:33, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Are you still about, @Llywelyn2000:. This template - used on en.wiki - seems to cater only for English SSSI. I tried to add a box to a Carmarthenshire SSSI ... it whinged about lack of a map, and there's no parameter I can see for the Welsh SSSI number. Can you help? thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:35, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
The documentation refers to Natural England. It seems to be designed solely for English SSSIs and should have been called Infobox English Site of Special Scientific Interest. I think it would be better to create a separate Infobox Welsh Site of Special Scientific Interest rather than trying to make this one cope with both. Dudley Miles (talk) 17:07, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
' it would be better to create a separate Infobox' - that's what I did 3 years ago on cywiki - new template. Actually, created all SSSI in Wales. Tried doing so on en, but was shot down! There's a great project running this month Wikipedia:WikiProject Wales/Awaken the Dragon, why not bring it up there? Someone will create I'm sure. Thanks both. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:52, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


The name at the top of the infobox is in italics. Is there a reason for that? Usual Wikipedia style (MOS:ITALICS) would be for it to be in regular type. Thanks. SchreiberBike talk 07:52, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

If there's no objection, I will ask for help to change the name to regular type.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  22:54, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I've made the change. -- John of Reading (talk) 18:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Suggested changes to documentation[edit]

I never put in a location map as it shows a location so approximate as to be virtually useless, and it takes far too much space, especially if a photo is included as well. I put in a direct link to the Magic map, even though it is deprecated. I think the location map should be deprecated, not a link to the Magic map.

I also suggest deprecating inclusion of the notify date. It will be of interest to very few readers, there is no consistency among editors whether to go by the 1949 or 1981 Act (as discussed above), and boundaries have sometimes changed between the two Acts, and then different notify dates will be correct for different parts of the same site. Any other views? Dudley Miles (talk) 17:26, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm trying to head in the opposite direction. I find, for instance, the location map in Bridgwater Bay (and hence all its ilk) of enormous value, since I can find out at a glance roughly enough where BB is. I accept the relatively large size of the dot as an expected by-product of showing a complete county in a 220px image. If I want more more detailed location info, I can click through the coord and find a map; or else visit MAGIC Map, if that's linked. I don't think the photo of the site is crowded out by the map (and must say, photo plus location map is a very very common infobox combination).
I think it is a very poor idea to force users off the page & require them to understand the coordinates-link-to-maps business merely in order to see the broad location of the site on a map. So. There you go.
As to date: I'm reluctant to let the date go, even acknowledging the problem. From some playing on the Natural Resources Wales site, those citations I've read specify a date and don't make the act clear. (Although they were all post 1981 dates, and so maybe by default that act?). I feel kinda more compelled to use the date specified in the citation, in so far as it seems to be the most RS, than I do to dispense with dates because of possible ambiguity. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:20, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
A map does not cause problems with a major site such as Bridgewater Bay, but with minor ones such as Oughtonhead Lane a map and a photo would look absurd. I would always look at the Magic map, but as you find the location map valuable and it is purely voluntary, I withdraw the suggestion of deprecating it. I do however think that deprecation of a Magic link should be cancelled.
I not see any case for including the designation date. The - very few - people who are interested would go to the citation. I do not see any circumstances in which anyone would find the date in the infobox useful. Dudley Miles (talk) 18:54, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm blissfully ignorent of the deprecation of MAGIC Map, and firmly intend to use it as a reference & EL. Thanks for your understanding on maps. Dates ... provide some sort of additional context. No-one, perhaps, will miss the date if it is removed. Equally, the reader noticing the date will know more than the reader not offered the date in the first place. Just as it's handy to know that the SSSI is roughly there, it's nice to have the date. I continue to think that the two date problem is a poor reason for removing dates; and that date is a clear and useful and structured attribute of an SSSI which all things being equal one would expect a wikipedia article to carry. In sum: I'd much rather we looked for more that we could add, than discuss subtraction. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:05, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Welsh SSSIs and this template - Template amendment or new template required[edit]

I'm minded to improve some Welsh SSSI articles. Noting the Suitable only for England thread, above, I should be grateful if somone with the skills would consider amending this template or creating a Welsh SSSI version, so that Welsh SSSI articles can have an infobox. I think there are a couple of issues:

  • Location map images - I think these are failing because this template assumes a Template name in the form Location map Somerset', for instance, and redirects have been put in place for English counties to (in this case) Template:Location map United Kingdom Somerset ... and then Lua and Modules technology was introduced, and permission to put redirects such as Template:Location map Somerset are now denied. Suffice to say, there are valid well named location maps for Welsh counties at Category:Wales location map templates
  • Enref - The link at the foot to a Natural England website by SSSI number ... does not work well for Wales. An additional Wales=Yes type parameter would allow a simple URL for Welsh SSSIs, to [1] ... by the looks the database beneath this (at [2]) isn't receptive to argument-laden URLs. (Or if it is, I cannot figure it out.)

There might be more we could do. I see the standard form documents offered by NaturalResourceWales are a Citation, a Citation Map and a "Your Special Site" document - see ELs at Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, for instance. If the data is as regular as this, is tjere a case to be made for including these links within the SSSI Infobox? Tagishsimon (talk) 23:20, 18 April 2016‎ (UTC)

I don't think a new template is needed. (1) use |displaymap=Wales or whatever location map you wish, which overrides the value in |aos=. (2) we can easily add |footnotes= for free form references, or if there is a preferred external website, we could leverage that as well. Frietjes (talk) 13:07, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Frietjes. Would you mind putting a worked example together on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, perhaps picking up from this revision - I've pointed in a comment at the top to the location map. I'm not quite getting it. As to footnote, for Wales, always to [3] (and requiring no SSSI parameter). thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:25, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Tagishsimon, you had two |displaymap=, with the second one blanking the first. Frietjes (talk) 13:32, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks Frietjes. It's very helpful to have a working model which I can replicate. I appreciate your intervention v.much. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I am glad to see work on the Welsh SSSIs. The List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest by Area of Search shows that a lot has been done on the English ones, but not Welsh. The work on the English ones was mostly done in 2006-7, with only dribs and drabs since. I am working on the ones near my home in London, and I have just nominated List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Buckinghamshire for FLC. Any comments gratefully received. Dudley Miles (talk) 19:02, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Yup, they're mostly single-liners right now. There also seems to be some disjuncture on wikipedia to do with Areas of reporting - we have List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Carmarthenshire and List of SSSIs in Carmarthen & Dinefwr, and most (of this area's) SSSI articles categorised as Category:Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Carmarthen & Dinefwr. So. All a bit confused. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
England is not as bad, but some of the areas are very out of date. The County of Avon was abolished in 1996, but Natural England only recently got around to updating its counties, and there is still a Wikipedia list for Avon. Dudley Miles (talk) 22:11, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Suggested new field[edit]

I think a field called "Other designations" for sites which are also Ramsar sites, Special Areas of Conservation etc, would be useful. Do others agree, and if so could someone who understands infobox templates implement the change? Dudley Miles (talk) 16:17, 17 July 2016 (UTC)