18th February 2016

Following our previous post regarding the European Parliament vote of the Nature Directives (read article HERE). A key report which provided evidence-based information that these Directives should not be weakened was put to a vote at the European parliament on the 2nd of February 2016. The great majority of MEP's (592 out of 689) voted in favour of the report, making a clear statement on the importance of keeping the protection of our species and habitats.

The Nature Directives (comprised by the Birds and the Habitats Directive) provide the highest level of protection to our habitats and species and ensure that this is consistent across Europe. They are a very important part of the protection afforded to bat species across Europe. They are under review by the process of the Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT) which seeks to look at all aspects of legislation ranging from its design through to implementation, enforcement, evaluation and, where justified, revision.

In response to the REFIT and political pressure to weaken the Directives the Environment Committee, formed by a group of dedicated MEP's, have produced an evidence-based report (more information about it HERE) which supports keeping the Nature Directives as they are. Over half a million people, including many Bat Conservation Trust members and supporters, have also shown incredible support, speaking up for the Natures Directives and writing to their MEP's.

The 2nd of February vote is a small victory and it shows the European Commission a united front when it comes to protecting our species and their habitats. The European Commission is yet to make a decision based on the results of the Fitness Check which means that we don't yet know if the nature directives will remain intact. We will keep you updated with any relevant developments.

Related links:

DRAFT REPORT: Evaluation Study to support the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/docs/consultation/Fitness%20Check%20final%20draft%20emerging%20findings%20report.pdf

Fitness Check of EU Nature Legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm

Read our previous news about this:

Our Nature is still under threat, but you can make the difference - http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/307/our_nature_is_still_under_threat_but_you_can_make_the_difference

Time to Defend Nature again - http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/297/time_to_defend_nature_again

Let's make sure that your vice is heard - deadline 26th July 2015 - http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/282/letas_make_sure_that_our_voice_is_heard_a_deadline_26th_july_2015


The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is the only national organisation solely devoted to the conservation of bats and their habitats in the UK. Its network of 100 local bat groups and more than 1,000 bat workers survey roosts and hibernation sites, and work with householders, builders, farmers and foresters to protect bats. www.bats.org.uk

All British bats are protected under British law, because of severe declines in bat numbers during the twentieth century. Loss of roosting habitat to development and construction, loss of foraging habitat as farming practice has changed (using pesticide and losing meadows and hedgerows) and loss of hedgerows, waterways and commuting routes linking the two all contributed to the declines in bat populations.

Because of widespread population declines and continued vulnerability, all British bat species are European protected species and afforded a high level of protection under both the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Deliberately capturing, disturbing, injuring and killing bats is prohibited, as is damaging or destroying their breeding sites and roosts.

The Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228 is for anyone who needs help with bats If you find a grounded or injured bat, believes bats to be at risk or think you may have bats or want to let us know about a bat roost site please call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228