I found myself…

I found myself writing this today…

Natura 2000 sites comprise Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation designated under the Birds and Habitats Directives respectively.  There are 275 SPAs in the UK … [and] … 658 SACs. These sites were designated by the UK government in line with the requirements of the two Directives for member states to establish and maintain protected areas for wildlife. They thus formed part of an EU-wide (now EU+UK-wide) network of 28,000 protected areas.

It brought me up short. I’ve never had to write like that before. All of my professional life we have been a part of the EU.

It made me sad.

And no doubt Tim Bonner and perhaps the new DEFRA minister may have plans for our SACs and SPAs…

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6 Replies to “I found myself…”

  1. To avoid my head hurting too much when thinking about EU.... look at it with this vestige of hope..... The SAC/SPA network were part of the hab directives, which is part of an international agreement called the Berne directive, and includes non-EU states. Additionally, the SPA network was designated under national law, not under an EU directive (According to JNCC...)

    SACs, together with Special Protection Areas (SPAs), are the UK’s contribution to the Bern Convention’s Emerald Network of protected areas, known as Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs).
    The Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, also known as the Bern Convention (or Berne Convention), is a binding international legal instrument in the field of Nature Conservation, it covers the natural heritage in Europe, as well as in some African countries. The Convention was open for signature on 19 September 1979 and came into force on 1 June 1982. It is particularly concerned about protecting natural habitats and endangered species, including migratory species.

    Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are protected areas for birds in the UK classified under:
    the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 2010 (as amended) in England, Scotland and Wales, the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985; the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1985; the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1995 (as amended) in Northern Ireland, the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 in the UK offshore area, and other legislation related to the uses of land and sea.

    SPAs, together with Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), form the UK’s contribution to the Bern Convention's Emerald Network of protected areas, known as Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs).

    So hopefully, someone can point out to government when they try and remove the legislation that its been done through UK Law to an international binding agreement not an EU-specific one......

    1. Louise - I think you are being too optimistic, but we'll see whether i am being too pessimistic. My prediction is that we will still have things, perhaps still called SPAs and SACs, but they won't be the real deal.

  2. Coo-er I thought this post was going to be deeply philosophical! My professional life after 6 years of study started when I came off the dole and worked very amicably with French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Belgian and German seed companies a for few years before we joined the EC. My first boss - a Yorkshireman - warned me that dealing with the French was like trying to untangle a barrow full of of monkeys. Then we joined the EC. Some regulations about selling seed changed and all the bosses awarded themselves bigger cars. The tangled barrow remained. When I asked the Danes whether it rankled that they now had to work with the Germans they just shrugged and said "No, we don't mind - they can't help how they are". Joining made no difference to how we worked except iirc phytosanitary requirements became more lax and the Danes sent us a load of barley leaf stripe we didn't have before, and butter cost more every time I went to the Co-op. That's it.

    1. Well said Filbert. I too remember the world pre-EU membership.
      EFTA was much preferable.

  3. I've already started saving up, Mark, as I wonder if Wild Justice will be needed to fight more cases in the near future!

    1. Mairi - that's kind. We plan to be busy this year. I've been busy with lawyers for the last few days.


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