Legislation

Bats

Amphibians

Dormouse

Reptile

All bat species are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act as well as Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation 2010 which implement the requirements of the Habitats Directive in England, Scotland and Wales and in Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (as amended) which implement the requirements of the Habitats Directive in Northern Ireland.

 

All British bat species are listed under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and is therefore subject to the provisions of Section 9, which makes it an offence to:

 

  • Intentionally kill, injure or take a bat [Section 9(1)];
  • Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a bat [Section 9(2)]
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(b)];
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstructs access to any structure or place which a bat uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(c)]
  • Sell, offer for sale, possess or transport for the purpose of sale or publish advertisements to buy or sell a bat [section 9(5)].

 

All bat species are also included on Annex IV of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (known as the Habitats Directive).  As a result of the UK ratifying this directive, all British bats are protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (The Conservation Regulations). Annex IV of the Habitats Directive requires member states to construct a system of protection as outlined in Article 12; this is done through Part 3 of the Regulations whereby Regulation 41 makes it an offence to:

 

  • Deliberately capture, kill or injure a bat [Regulation 41(1)(a)];
  • Deliberately disturb bats in such a way as to be likely to significantly affect i) the ability of any significant group of animals of that species to survive, breed or rear or nurture their young, OR
  • ii) the local distribution of that species. [Regulation 41(1)(b) and 41(2)];
  • Damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of a bat [Regulation 41(1)(d)].

 

Under the law, a roost is any structure or place used for shelter or protection.  This could be any structure, for example, any building or mature tree. Bats use many roost sites and feeding areas throughout the year. These vary according to bat age, condition, gender and species, as well as season and weather. Since bats tend to re-use the same roosts for generations, the roost is protected whether the bats are present or not.  In addition, four species, the two horseshoes, barbastelle and Bechstein’s are included within Annex II of the Habitats Directive for which Member States are required to designate Special Areas for Conservation (SAC’s) for their protection.

All British amphibian species receive legal protection in the United Kingdom though the degree to which different species are protected varies.  The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) (as amended) transposes into UK law the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).  The 1981 Act was recently amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 and the more recent Conservation Regulations (2007).  The great crested newt is listed under Schedule 5 of the 1981 Act, and is therefore subject to the provisions of Section 9, which make it an offence to:

 

  • Intentionally kill, injure or take a great crested newt [Section 9(1)];
  • Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a great crested newt  [Section 9(2)];
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a great crested newt while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(b)];
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to any structure or place which a great crested newt uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(c)]Sell, offer for sale, possess or transport for the purpose of sale or publish advertisements to buy or sell a great crested newt [section 9(5)].

 

The other more common amphibian species are protected against sale (Section 9(5)) only.  In all cases, the legislation applies to all life stages including spawn, eggs, juveniles and adults.

The great crested newt is also included on Annex IV of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (known as the Habitats Directive).  As a result of the UK ratifying this directive, the great crested newt is protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (The Conservation Regulations).  Annex IV of the Habitats Directive requires member states to construct a system of protection as outlined in Article 12, this is done through Part 3 of the Regulations whereby Regulation 41 makes it an offence to:

 

  • Deliberately capture or kill a great crested newt [Regulation 41(1)(a)]
  • Deliberately disturb great crested newts in such a way as to be likely to significantly affect i) the ability of any significant group of animals of that species to survive, breed or rear or nurture their young, OR ii) the local distribution of that species. [Regulation 41(1)(b) and 41(2)];
  • Damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of a great crested newt [Regulation 41(1)(d)].

Dormice receive the same level of protection as bats and great crested newts in the United Kingdom.  The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) (as amended) transposes into UK law the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).  The 1981 Act was recently amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 and the more recent Habitats Regulations amendments (2010).  Dormice are listed under Schedule 5 of the 1981 Act, and is therefore subject to the provisions of Section 9, which makes it an offence to:

 

  • Intentionally kill, injure or take a dormouse [Section 9(1)];
  • Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a dormouse [Section 9(2)]
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a dormouse while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(b)];
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstructs access to any structure or place which a dormouse uses for shelter or protection [Section 9(4)(c)]; and
  • Sell, offer for sale, possess or transport for the purpose of sale or publish advertisements to buy or sell a dormouse [section 9(5)].

 

Dormice are also included on Annex IV of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (known as the Habitats Directive).  As a result of the UK ratifying this directive, dormice are protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (The Conservation Regulations).  Annex IV of the Habitats Directive requires member states to construct a system of protection as outlined in Article 12, this is done through Part 3 of the Regulations whereby Regulation 41 makes it an offence to:

 

  • Deliberately capture or kill a dormouse [Regulation 39(1)(a)];
  • Deliberately disturb a dormouse in such a way as to be likely to significantly affect i) the ability of any significant group of animals of that species to survive, breed or rear or nurture their young, OR ii) the local distribution of that species. [Regulation 39(1)(b)]; and
  • Damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of a dormouse [Regulation 39(1)(d)].

All British reptiles are afforded legal protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) largely as a consequence of a national decline in numbers due to habitat loss.  Under the terms of the Act, it is an offence to intentionally kill or injure a reptile and accordingly in order to avoid committing an offence under the Act, appropriate mitigation techniques need to be incorporated for reptiles occurring within development sites.  Mitigation methods for reptiles may include trapping and relocation of animals to a suitable receptor site, combined with the exclusion of the development site through the use of reptile fencing.  Measures to enhance habitats for reptiles include the provision of hibernacula and appropriate management to improve foraging areas may also be required.

 

Mitigation for the more common British reptiles and amphibians does not require a licence from Natural England but would typically be agreed in consultation with the local planning authority.

 

Despite the range of their distribution and the diversity of habitats in which they may be found, the national status of the slow worm is not considered favourable.  The slow worm is considered to have undergone a long term decline since the 1930’s. Currently the largest threat has been identified as loss of habitat, in particular, due to a shift in planning policy towards the development of brown field sites (English Nature, 2004).

Corylus Ecology Ltd

Unit A3 Speldhurst Business Park

Langton Road

Speldhurst

Tunbridge Wells

Kent

TN3 0AQ

T 01892 861868

 

12 Great Bridge Cottages

Headborough Road

Ashburton

Devon

TQ13 7QW

T 01364 653300

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

contact us

Kent office

Follow us

Devon office

ecological

consultants

since 2004