Local Nature Reserve Grassland credit Graham Peets

New briefing on the Habitats Regulations

Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL), with input from CIEEM, has published a new briefing document on the Habitats Regulations.

“The Government’s ambition to restore nature cannot be achieved if it undermines the most effective nature protection laws in the UK – the Habitats Regulations. Rather than pursue a misguided deregulatory agenda, the Government should retain and strengthen these regulations which protect the most important and vulnerable sites and species in the UK.”

“This briefing explains how the Habitats Regulations provide robust protection to sites and species, identifies aspects of the Government’s current agenda which threatens these crucial regulations, and highlights what could be lost if the Habitats Regulations are repealed or weakened. Next, this briefing sets how the Government should build on the essential legal foundations of the Habitats Regulations and strengthen and better implement these regulations to ensure that the UK’s most important environmental protections are effective and fit for the future.”

In a blog to launch the briefing, WCL CEO Richard Benwell explains the threats to the Habitats Regulations (namely the Retained EU Law Bill, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the Energy Bill and the Environment Act 2021), and how to improve the law. He suggests that the Government should focus on strengthening the law, which has been shown to be fit for purpose by multiple reviews.