12th May 2015

We need your help defending nature by responding to a short online EU questionnaire. This is quick and easy to do. You can really make a difference by standing up for nature through your response and by encouraging others to do so too.

The Birds and Habitats Directives form the cornerstone of Europe's nature conservation policy, providing a vital common legislative framework for protecting species and habitats across all of the EU's 28 member states. This legislation helps to protect the 53 threatened bat species found across Europe, which would be at much greater risk without this legal protection.

The Directives have proved to be successful when they are well implemented. In the UK a review of implementation was undertaken in 2012 which showed that the Directives were working well and scientific evidence shows that they have delivered demonstrable positive benefits for wildlife.

It has never been so important to defend nature, and keep the laws that help to protect it. In the UK 60% of species have declined over the last 50 years from habitat loss and now climate change is threatening species survival too. The Directives aim to protect nature in National Parks and Special Areas of Conservation as well as in green spaces in cities.

However both Directives are undergoing a fitness check: a consultation to review the costs and benefits of the directive across Europe through an in depth evidence-based evaluation.

Nature is under threat: there is a danger that the fitness check is hijacked by people who want to reduce the legal protection for species and habitats. Therefore our aim is to speak out to proactively engage in the review process, provide evidence and stand up for nature.

The process was started by the European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) asking governments to undertake stakeholder interviews. The process is now entering the final crucial stage of a 12 week public consultation (until 24 July 2015).

The Bat Conservation Trust is working closely with other conservation charities as well as our European partners in BatLife Europe to encourage as many people as possible to defend nature.

We need you to defend nature by submitting either one of the two consultation questionnaires shown below. Then please encourage all friends and family to do the same. Use #defendnature on twitter to show your support

  • Short questionnaire: For a completed survey for you to use, with answers which best support nature, please click here: www.naturealert.eu/en This is quick and easy to do and BCT supports this response.
  • More technical questionnaire: The full EU questionnaire can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/EUNatureDirectives At BCT we are working on our response and will be communicating this with bat groups and other key contacts in the next couple of weeks.

Useful links:

- Joint Links position statement http://www.wcl.org.uk/docs/joint_links_refit_position_statement_may15.pdf

- Joint Links news releasehttp://www.wcl.org.uk/docs/joint_links_refit_press_release_may15.pdf

- European Commission. 2015 The Habitats Directive http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/habitatsdirective/index_en.htm

- HM Government. 2012 Report of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives Implementation Review.


- REFIT - making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/refit/index_en.html