The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 came into force on 30th November 2017. The Regulations consolidate and update the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, which have been updated a total of 10 times since they were last consolidated in 2010. As such, the new set of Regulations seeks to improve clarity and accessibility to the legislation.
The 2017 Regulations are intended to remain in place for some time. This is due to the Government ceasing to have the power of consolidating regulations derived from EU law after the date of exit from the European Union.
The Regulations are designed to transpose Council Directive 92/43/EEC, on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (EC Habitats Directive), into national law. Additionally, they transpose elements of the EU Wild Birds Directive in England and Wales.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 extend to England and Wales, including the adjacent territorial sea (12 nautical miles from the mean low-water mark of a coastal state), to a limited extent in Scotland in respect of reserved matters and Northern Ireland in respect of excepted matters.
What has changed?
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 has not introduced significant change. For example, it remains an offence to deliberately capture, kill, disturb, or trade in the animals listed in Schedule 2, or pick, collect, cut, uproot, destroy, or trade in the plants listed in Schedule 4 without an appropriate licence.
Changes that have been made serve to update references to related legislation and improve the overall text of the Regulations. Such changes include the removal of references to ‘regional strategies’ and ‘unitary development plans’ and the insertion of the River Tweed Commission as a relevant authority.
Read the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 in full here.
The update to the regulations has not changed the species protected in the UK.
The Regulations cover the designation and protection of European sites (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) and the protection of European protected species. Animals that are protected are
|Common name||Latin Name|
|Bats, Horseshoe (all species)||Rhinolophidae|
|Bats, Typical (all species)||Vespertilionidae|
|Butterfly, Large Blue||Maculinea arion|
|Cat, Wild||Felis silvestris|
|Dolphins, porpoises and whales (all species)||Cetacea|
|Frog, Pool||Rana lessonae|
|Lizard, Sand||Lacerta agilis|
|Moth, Fisher’s Estuarine||Gortyna borelii lunata|
|Newt, Great Crested (or Warty)||Triturus cristatus|
|Otter, Common||Lutra lutra|
|Snail, Lesser Whirlpool Ram’s-horn||Anisus vorticulus|
|Snake, Smooth||Coronella austriaca|
|Toad, Natterjack||Bufo calamita|
|Turtles, Marine||Caretta caretta
|Common name||Latin Name|
|Dock, Shore||Rumex rupestris|
|Fern, Killarney||Trichomanes speciosum|
|Gentian, Early||Gentianella anglica|
|Marshwort, Creeping||Apium repens|
|Naiad, Slender||Najas flexilis|
|Orchid, Fen||Liparis loeselii|
|Plantain, Floating-leaved water||Luronium natans|
|Saxifrage, Yellow Marsh||Saxifraga hirculus|