What Will Brexit Mean For UK wildlife

The UK Government has published a White Paper – The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union – intended to provide Parliament and the country with a clear vision of what they are seeking to achieve in negotiating the UK’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union.

The paper says that leaving the EU will enable the Government to “deliver … a cleaner, healthier environment” and “a cleaner, healthier and more productive marine environment.” The paper also maintains the Government’s commitment to “ensuring we become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. We will use the Great Repeal Bill to bring the current framework of environmental regulation into UK and devolved law.”

However, the paper also says: “We want to take this opportunity to develop over time a comprehensive approach to improving our environment in a way that is fit for our specific needs.”

This is also in the context of the Government saying that it is “committed to making the UK the best place in the world to do business. This will mean fostering a high quality, stable and predictable regulatory environment, whilst also actively taking opportunities to reduce the cost of unnecessary regulation and to support innovative business models.”

We are unsure how this will affect survey and licensing requirements of protective species and the wildlife requirements for the planning process at this stage but will post more information as the process develops.

Please refer to the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) website for a wider overview of the ongoing process.

Current wildlife legislation, survey requirements and protected species licensing are still in place. Now is a good time to undertake a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) or scoping survey, including daytime bat surveys of buildings and trees, badger surveys and winter bird surveys. Following an initial PEA/scoping survey further survey(s) may be required which are seasonally constrained. It is important to understand whether any further ecological surveys would be required as part of a development and to plan for these at the earliest opportunity.

In accordance with BS 42020:2013 all ecological surveys should be undertaken prior to determination of planning permission, and usually before an application is validated. Missing part of the survey season could delay your project. Please refer to our survey calendar for optimal survey seasons, or call or email one of ecologists to discuss your project and arrange a PEA. All our ecologists are registered members of CIEEM.