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Information and advice

Relevant Legislation

CPERC exists to provide an evidence base to our Partners and clients, as well as a data mobility and archival service to our Data Provider Partners and as such, remains impartial to the interpretation of our data holdings. Our work supports decision makers, planners and developers who are themselves guided by European and UK legislation that governs the protection of wildlife and associated sites. This page provides links to the relevant legislation protecting biodiversity.

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA)

In essence, the WCA outlines which species are protected by law from killing, injuring or having their habitat damaged. It also covers species protected under European law. A few example species would be otters, great crested newts and all bats. A good summary is provided on www.naturenet.net.

Natural Environment & Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006

The NERC Act (2006) was established with the intention to help ensure that biodiversity becomes an integral consideration in the development of policies, and that decisions of public bodies work with nature and not against it.

The England Biodiversity List has been drawn up to meet the requirements of Section 41 of the Act. The S41 list consists of 943 species and 56 habitats of principal importance in England and will be used to guide decision-makers such as public bodies, including local and regional authorities, in implementing their duty under Section 40 of the NERC Act. The full list of habitats and species can be found on the Natural England website.

National Planning Policy Framework

2012 guidance on the application of planning policies in England including ‘Conserving and enhancing the natural environment’. It requires planning policies to minimise the impact on biodiversity by identifying and mapping designated sites and other areas of importance for biodiversity such as wildlife corridors and locally important areas; promoting and protecting priority habitats and species; monitoring biodiversity and preventing harm to geologically important sites.

Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010

Under these regulations authorities in England and Wales are required to designate and protect those habitats and species legislated by the EC Habitats Directive with a network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Public bodies have a duty to adapt planning controls to protect these species and sites including a review of biological data. Visit theJNCCwebsite for a summary of the regulations.

UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework

In response to signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992 the UK published the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). It included specific plans for 1,149 species and 65 habitats afforded priority conservation action.

In July 2012 UKBAP was superseded by the ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework’ as a result of a change in strategy following the publication of the CBD's ‘Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020’ and its 20 ‘Aichi targets’at Nagoya, Japan in October 2010. The framework sets out the activities the four devolved countries in the UK must undertake to fulfil its biodiversity strategy and achieve the targets at a country level. The priority species and habitats agreed under UK BAP still form the basis of much biodiversity work in the countries.

The Badgers Act 1992

An advancement on earlier legislation by which it is illegal to kill, injure or take a badger, to damage or interfere with a sett without a licence from a statutory authority. For advice and legislation relating to badgers visit Natural England.

Who to Ask

We do not carry out survey work for reserves or as part of planning applications. Nor do we provide interpretation of the records and information which we supply. We do not necessarily have the ecological or other knowledge to do this.

If you require these services, please contact the Wildlife Trust orNatural England

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