Legislation and Policy – NERC Act 2006

We’ve updated our information relating to Legislation and Policy pertaining to hazel dormice. We are sharing with you this information over a series of Legislation and Policy related blog posts. Alternatively all of the updated information can be found here: https://hampshiredormousegroup.co.uk/about-dormice/legislation-policy/

Here is information on the NERC Act 2006 relating to hazel dormouse:

The Natural Enviroment and Rural Communities Act 2006

The Hazel Dormouse is a ‘Species of Principal Importance for the conservation of biodiversity’ (sometimes referred to as a ‘’Priority Species’’), listed under section 41 of the NERC Act 2006.

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 was intended to raise the profile of biodiversity amongst all public authorities (including local authorities, and statutory undertakers) and to make biodiversity an integral part of policy and decision-making processes. The NERC Act also improved wildlife protection by amending the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Section 40 (S40) of the Act places a ‘Biodiversity Duty’ on all public bodies to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their normal functions. This includes giving consideration to the restoration and enhancement of species and habitats.

Section 41 (S41) of the Act requires the Secretary of State to publish a list of habitats and species which are of Principal Importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England.  Public authorities have a responsibility to give specific consideration to the S41 list when exercising their normal functions. For planning authorities, consideration for Species and Habitats of Principal Importance will be exercised mainly through the planning and development control processes.

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