National Conservation Areas Management Project Seeks Public Views

Did you know that 38% of St Helena’s land is designated as National Conservation Areas (NCAs)?

St Helena Government (SHG) are partnering with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) to develop plans for the sustainable management of the ‘nature’ NCAs. These are six Nature Reserves, five Important Wirebird Areas and two of the National Parks. This does not include The Peaks National Park, which has not been included in this project.

The project, Sustainable management of St Helena’s National Conservation Areas, aims to actively involve local community members, businesses and landowners in and around the NCAs to develop management options for sustainable land-use. The project (DPLUS154) is being funded by the UK government through the Darwin Plus Fund.

To understand the current level of awareness around the NCAs, Project Officer Tom Kitching and JNCC team member Eve Englefield, visiting from the UK, will be undertaking some initial engagement with members of the public. This will be through a short survey, alongside an opportunity to chat about the project in person and ask questions. This engagement will provide important context ahead of work beginning to start formulating and developing management plans.

Gumwood trees in the Barn and Stone Top National Park – Geological formations in Sandy Bay National Park

What are the National Conservation Areas (NCAs)?

St Helena has 23 designated National Conservation Areas (NCAs) split into four types: National Parks (3); Nature Reserves (6); Important Wirebird Areas (5) and Historic Conservation Areas (9).

List of St Helena’s National Conservation Areas, those highlighted are covered under the current project.

Name of NCAType of NCAName of NCAType of NCA
Sandy bayNational ParkPlantation HouseHistoric Conservation area
The PeaksNational ParkLongwood HouseHistoric Conservation area
The Barn and Stone topNational ParkNapoleon’s tombHistoric Conservation area
Man and HorseImportant Wirebird AreaThe BriarsHistoric Conservation area
Broad BottomImportant Wirebird AreaKnollcombesHistoric Conservation area
Deadwood PlainImportant Wirebird AreaProsperous Bay PlainNature Reserve
Bottom woodsImportant Wirebird AreaMillennium ForestNature Reserve
Upper prosperousImportant Wirebird AreaHeart-shaped water fallNature Reserve
Heritage coastHistoric Conservation siteHigh hillNature Reserve
JamestownHistoric Conservation siteDeep valleyNature Reserve
Lemon valleyHistoric Conservation siteIslandsNature Reserve
High Knoll fortHistoric Conservation site  

What is the purpose of having NCAs?

They are designated to protect and enhance the iconic natural landscapes, endemic biodiversity and built heritage of St Helena, whilst promoting sustainable use. There are four types of NCAs, although this project will only be focused on the three type of NCAs that are designated for nature.

National Parks – Large areas with a mixture of special features. Intended to preserve the character and visual impact of landscapes, but also to encourage sustainable recreational use. These may have discrete areas within them of particular biological, cultural or geological importance.

Nature Reserves – Discrete areas containing some of St Helena’s most important habitats and species. Intended for the conservation and restoration of St Helena’s globally important biodiversity.

Important Wirebird Areas – The most important breeding locations for St Helena’s only remaining endemic vertebrate. These areas are a mixture of farmed and natural habitats and are designated to safeguard the wirebird population and support appropriately maintained habitats.

Historic Conservation AreasSt Helena’s most important built and cultural heritage sites.

Why do NCAs need management plans?

To make sure the NCAs deliver on the objectives for which they were designated, they need to be appropriately managed.

The new management plans will consider the future needs of competing land uses, taking a comprehensive and structured approach to planning which considers not only environmental priorities, but developments as well.

Heart Shaped Waterfall Nature Reserve

How can you engage with this project?

If you would like to have your say on how our NCAs are managed, or would like more information about the project, then please come and speak to us at the Market in Jamestown on 12 October between 09:00 and 14:00. Alternatively, contact Tom directly by email through or by telephone on 24724. The online survey can be accessed at


29 September 2023                      

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470