Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations (as amended)

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations (as amended)

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Regulation

Date: 1994 (amended 1997, 2000, 2007)

Reference: SI 1994/2716 [Full text] (SI 1997/3055, SI 2000/192, SI 2007/1843 [Full text])

General Description:

Note: These regulations have been consolidated and updated under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. As a result these 1994 Regulations will no longer extend to England and Wales though they will continue to extend to Scotland.


These regulations are amended in England ONLY by the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations Amendments and in Scotland ONLY by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

These regulations implement the EEC Habitats Directive 1992.

Part II of the regulations provide for the conservation of natural habitats, and habitats of species, in particular:

  • The selection, registration, and notification of sites to be protected under the directive
  • The provision of management agreements for European sites
  • Provision for the control of damaging operations and special nature conservation orders
  • Provisions for bylaws and compulsory purchase orders for European sites
  • Special provision for the protection of European marine sites

Part III describes the protection of certain wild animals and plants, in particular:

  • It is an offence (with exceptions) to deliberately capture, kill, or disturb such animals or to trade in them
  • It is an offence to pick, cut, collect, uproot, or destroy such plants or trade in them

(See list below for specific animals/plants)

Part IV is concerned with the adaptation of planning and certain other controls for site protection. This includes:

  • Possible effects must be considered before the granting of planning permission to a site. If it is considered that development would harm the site, then the granting of permission may be restricted.
  • Planning permission granted before the designation of status of European sites, must be reviewed, and may be revoked if the development might harm the site.

Protected animals include:

  • Typical Bats
  • Horseshoe Bats
  • Large Blue Butterfly
  • Wild Cat
  • Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales (all species)
  • Dormouse
  • Sand Lizard
  • Great Crested (Warty) Newt
  • Common Otter
  • Smooth Snake
  • Sturgeon
  • Natterjack Toad
  • Marine Turtle

Protected plants include:

  • Shore Dock
  • Killarney Fern
  • Early Gentian
  • Lady's Slipper
  • Creeping Marshwort
  • Fen Orchid
  • Floating Leaved Water Plantain
  • Yellow Marsh Saxifrage

The 2007/1843 amendment covers changes relating to European offshore marine sites; arrangements for surveillance of the conservation status of natural habitat types and species  of Community interest; indiscriminate means of capturing or killing protected species; issues relating to plan-making authorities; and amendments to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in relation to the prohibiting the killing, injuring and taking, possession and control and disturbance of certain animals and protect their places of shelter and protection, and prohibiting the uprooting of protected plants and, in some cases, also picking and destruction.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Conservation, Habitats, Biodiversity, Wildlife

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