Species Protection

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Species Protection
  • Brexit
  • The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/579
  • Background
  • EU species protection
  • The Habitats Directive
  • The Birds Directive
  • Migration
  • Species protection under national law
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • More...

Species Protection

Brexit

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s legal regime.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/579

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/579 are in force from Implementation Period (IP) completion day. These regulations make changes to the three existing instruments which transpose Directive 92/43/EEC, (the Habitats Directive) and Directive 79/409/EEC, (the Birds Directive) so that they continue to work upon the UK’s exit from the EU. The existing instruments are:

  1. the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1012

  2. the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1013, and

  3. the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001, SI 2001/1754

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/579 also amend section 27 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to ensure existing protections continue.

References throughout the regulations are amended to a UK only context. Sites designated under the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive previously contributed to the EU’s Natura 2000 network. A national site

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