10th October 2022

A Brown long-eared bat chasing a moth in the night sky.

In August we launched an URGENT call for help calling for you to join us in demanding that the Government maintains the legal protection that has enabled some British bat species to start their recovery from significant historical declines. Over 80 of you have contacted us to let us know that you have written to your MPs. Thank you for doing that. We have seen a range of responses from MPs across political parties and some are just as alarmed as we are at proposed Government actions.

Since our original campaign, the situation has developed further and the intent in government plans is becoming clearer. Here is a brief update which summarises the situation:

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill – will enable government to “easily, repeal and replace retained EU Law” (The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 from 31st December 2023. Retained EU law covers a number of vital pieces of legislation, including the legislation that protects bats and their roosts as well as rules for pesticides and the designation of some of our most precious natural sites. All of these pieces of legislation and more could be under threat of removal if this Bill were to be approved by Parliament.

Planning and Infrastructure Bill will “reduce the burden of environmental assessments” and “reform habitats and species regulations” within “investment zones” including in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, (AONBs) sites of special scientific interest, (SSSIs) and green belt land. You can read The Growth Plan 2022 HERE.

Environment Land Management Schemes (ELMS), which held promise for supporting farmers as custodians of wildlife and our environment, will now undergo a “rapid review”.

As we have recently highlighted, if the Government goes down this path it will be breaking a promise made to the next generation and ignoring the findings of the Dasgupta Review that “Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of Nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them.” Bats are long lived, roost faithful, and slow to recover from population losses which is why they are legally protected. Removing this protection will lead to local extinctions and a national decline of their populations.

Please help us achieve our vision of a world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together by contacting your MP. You may want to write again even if you wrote in August due to the growing concerns outlined above. Do make it clear that you need them to speak up for wildlife on your behalf. We have amended the template to reflect these latest threats and this can be downloaded HERE