The UK Government became a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, this commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity was put into practice with the launch of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in 1994. Species and Habitat Action Plans (SAPs & HAPs) were drawn up for the most threatened species and habitats considered to require targeted conservation action.

Devolution led the four countries of the UK to develop their own country specific strategies for biodiversity. In 2007 a shared vision for UK biodiversity conservation was adopted by the devolved administrations and the UK government, and Conserving Biodiversity - the UK Approach was published.

The UK Government responded to the publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 by publishing the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework, which focuses on a more holistic, landscape-scale approach and replaces the UK BAP. Despite this, the UK priority habitats and species are still relevant and the point of reference for targeted conservation efforts.

UK Bat Priority Species are:

  • soprano pipistrelle
  • lesser horseshoe bat
  • greater horseshoe bat
  • barbastelle
  • Bechstein's bat
  • noctule
  • brown long-eared bat

Our biodiversity work is funded by Natural England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.