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Important Notice for Existing and Potential Clients:

As from 4th March 2013, Phil Lomax, Director and Principal Consultant of Green Dimensions is moving to take up a position as Principal Ecologist at Thomson Ecology.

Dartford warbler
Lakeside, Eastleigh

News and Information

New Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations

On the 1st April 2010, the new Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 came into effect. These new Regulations replace The Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations, 1994 and all the subsequent amendments with a new updated and consolidated set of Regulations.

The UK is bound by the terms of the EC Birds Directive (1) and the EC Habitats Directive (2). These new regulations (the Habitats Regulations) transpose into law in England and Wales, and to some extent Scotland, those Directives.

The Regulations focus on the protection of habitats and species of European conservation importance and concern. Sites of European importance are defined in Regulation 8 and consist of:

  • Special Areas of Conservation SACs (designated for their habitats and/or species under the EC Habitats Directive and including Offshore Marine Sites. See Regulations 10 and 11)
  • Special Protection Areas SPAs (designated for the protection of birds under the EC Birds Directive. See Regulation 8d).
  • Candidate SACs (cSACs) and proposed SPAs (pSPAs) (sites which are being considered for full designation but as yet have not been designated are to be treated as if they had already been designated. See Regulations 8b and 8c). 

In addition, the UK Government, as a matter of policy, has instructed that Ramsar Sites (designated under the Ramsar Convention on the protection of wetlands of international importance, ratified by the UK Government in 1976) should be treated in the same way.

An updated list of the above protected sites in the UK can be found at:

Regulation 41 makes it an offence for anyone to intentionally, kill, injure, take, disturb or in any way damages animal species of European conservation importance or harm their breeding sites or resting places. Similarly, Regulation 45 makes it an offence to pick, collect, cut, uproot or destroy a wild plant of a European protected species.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, 2010. SI 2010 No. 490 can be viewed at:
Important New Book Audits State of Wildlife in the UK

 (1) Council Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (74/409/EEC) 2nd April 1979.

 (2) Council Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Wild Flora and Fauna (92/43/EEC) 21st May 1992

New Forest heathland
Broad-bodied chaser
Hurst Castle and the salt marsh
Web Site Development and Wildlife Photography by Andrew Walmsley
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