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How INSPIRE deals with underground PS boundaries?

A couple of Natura2000 sites in the Netherlands contain caves. These caves lie partly within the (ground level) boundaries of the Natura2000 site. Sometimes they extend beyond these boundaries underground. The caves are part of the adjacent Natura2000 site. This results in the following issues/questions/thoughts:

- how to register these boundaries? Just simply add the caves to the (ground level) boundaries?

- how to keep distinction between ground level and underground elements of Natura2000 sites

- is it wishful to add a comment in any of the attribute fields? And if so, which comment in which attribute?


As The Netherlands is the flattest country of all, I guess we're not the first to tackle this matter.

Looking forward to your comments.


best wishes




    By Brian MACSHARRY

    Hi Wilbert


    Great question. I have flagged this as a question where we need further guidance on but based on my experience in the past when i worked for the Irish government and from reasearch work I previously undertook on cave systems .

    We used to designated just the cave entrance and flagged in the management plan that the the measures applied to the cave extent which was usually unmapped.Where we knew a length of a cave we added this into the Natura Stadard Data Form. I would suggest where you have accurate information on the deth of the cave has a GIS file with the x,y,z values. In the mean time i will email some former colleagues and ask for advice.

    Thanks again for a great questions


    By Brian MACSHARRY

    Hi Wilbert


    I have heard back from Ireland and they just map the cave entrance and mention in the managment plan associated with that site regarding the relevant species. Often the cave entrances are quite small so the "site" has a small area but this just refers to the entrance. The reason for not deliniating a larger site is that the extent of the cave is unknown- but its orientation and depth. Fof mapping caves you only ever map what you can explore as opposed to the actual cave itself- due to entrancesbeing blocked or just unexplored.


    I hoep this helps and if i hear anymore i will send it on to you.



  • Iurie MAXIM

    Hi Wilbert,

    I would say that it is depending to the legislation. For example in Romania in order to protect a cave the legislation stipulates that is not enough to protect the entrance and the underground cavity. For example if the forest that lies on the top of the cave is cut, then the water regime/umidity in the cave is changed. Therefore in Romania cave designated as a protected area has a larger poligon at the surface on top of the cave and the management plan of the cave must refer to the undergound and to the surface as well.

    Of course due to this, there are protected areas of the same category that are overlaping, especialy if the cave is designated to protect the fauna (i.e.: bats) and there can be two IUCN category IV protected areas that are overlaping (i.e.: the poligon at the surface of the cave and the poligon of a natural reserve designated for the management of some flora species).

    If the cave is not designed for the protection of fauna, the the cave is designated as natural monument (category III IUCN) and usualy on the top of a cave is a smaller chance to have another natural monument (i.e.: a waterfall).

    Best regards,.


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