Acorn Ecology newt

Consolidation of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (the “Habitats Regulations 2017”)


The Habitats Regulations 2010 have been amended ten times since they were last consolidated (in 2010). They are likely to remain in place for some time after the UK exits the EU.

Therefore, the legislation has been consolidated once again in 2017, omitting obsolete parts and adding in a few recent amendments.

Legislative background

The Habitats Regulations 2010, which are made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, are the principal means by which the Habitats Directive is transposed for England and Wales and territorial seas.

Corresponding Regulations transpose the Habitats Directive in relation to Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Habitats Regulations 2017 will continue to implement the Habitats Directive and certain elements of the Birds Directives in England and Wales.

Have they changed much?

In effect, no. The Habitats Regulations 2017 consolidate all the various amendments made to the Habitats Regulations 2010, in respect of England and Wales. The majority of it remains the same legislation.



What does it cover?


Species listed within Annexe IV of the Habitats Directive and whose natural range includes any area of Great Britain are referred to as European Protected Species in England. The Habitats Directive has been transposed into UK national law by means of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 – effective from 30th Nov. 2017.

The Regulations provide for the designation and protection of ‘European sites’, the protection of ‘European protected species’, and the adaptation of planning and other controls for the protection of European Sites.

Schedule 2 covers animals. Under Regulation 42 the species and their breeding sites/resting places are protected. It is for these species for which you need to obtain a European Protected Species Licence.

Here’s a list of the animal species covered to the right.

If you’d like to read the regulations in full, you can go to the National Archives where there is also an explanatory memorandum about the consolidation.


Remember – Update your legislation to The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017!




If you’d like to learn more about protected species and wildlife law, take a look at our training courses.

The best choice for your wildlife surveys

Exeter: 01392 366512

Bristol: Tel: 0117 923 2768 / Mobile: 07971 994324

Guildford: Tel: 01483 382821 / Mobile: 07443 652988

Would you like to keep up to date with our articles?

Sign Up >