The UK Government became a signatory to the United Nation’s 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 listing a number of key priority habitats and species considered to require targeted conservation action.

Devolution settlements led the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to develop their own country specific strategies for biodiversity. England also has its own strategy. 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.

Whilst the UK BAP has since been replaced with a more holistic, landscape-scale approach, the lists of priority species and habitats remain, and these have been an important and valuable reference source to help draw up country specific lists.

UK Bat Priority Species are:

  • soprano pipistrelle
  • common pipistrelle (Wales only)
  • lesser horseshoe bat
  • greater horseshoe bat
  • barbastelle
  • Bechstein's bat
  • noctule
  • brown long-eared bat

Our biodiversity work in England is partly funded by Natural England.