Protected and notifiable species
The Worcestershire County Council ecology team provide a
range of (in-house) ecological services, including; extended Phase
1 survey, protected species advice and survey, Ecological
Impact Assessment (EcIA) and European Protected Species
(EPS) licensing. Below summarises important species
There are some 17 species of bats in the UK, 14 of these
species occur in Worcestershire. Bats and bat roosting habitats are
fully protected by both the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and
the Habitats Regulations. Seven species of bat (Barbastelle,
Bechstein’s, Noctule, Soprano pipistrelle, Brown long-eared,
Greater horseshoe and Lesser horseshoe bat) are Priority species
under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and have also been adopted as
Species of Principal Importance in England under Section 41 of the
NERC Act (2006).
Great Crested Newt
Worcestershire contains many regionally important
meta-populations of great crested newts. Great crested newts and
their habitats are fully protected by the Wildlife and Countryside
Act 1981 and the Habitats Regulations. Both the great crested
newts’ aquatic habitat (typically large ponds) and terrestrial
habitat are protected from damage and destruction.
They are a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan
and have been adopted as a Species of Principal Importance in
England under section 41 of the NERC Act (2006).
Adders are scattered
and declining in the county where as slow-worms are widely
distributed throughout Worcestershire. All reptiles are protected
by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to
kill them if this can reasonably be avoided. They are also
identified as Priority species in the UKBAP and, as such, have been
adopted as Species of Principal Importance in the UK. The habitats
of common reptiles are not specifically protected, however, an
obligation to replace reptile habitat may still come through the
planning system as animals captured from a development site still
have to be released somewhere. Releasing reptiles into unsuitable
habitat could constitute an offence under the Animal Welfare Act
From April 2008 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
(as amended), water voles and their resting places are fully
protected in England, it is an offence to deliberately, capture,
injure or kill them or to damage, destroy or obstruct their
breeding or resting places. It will continue to be an offence to
disturb them in their breeding or resting places.
beginning to recover within Worcestershire with presence on
virtually all of the watercourses throughout the county. Otters and
their habitats are fully protected under both UK and European
legislation. There are designated areas of protection, but even
outside of these sites, otters and their holts are fully protected.
The otter is a Priority Species under the UK Biodiversity Action
Plan, the Worcestershire Biodiversity Action Plan and has also been
adopted as a Species of Principal Importance in England under
Section 41 of the NERC Act (2006). It is government policy that
local authorities protect such species from the adverse effects of
The hazel dormouse has been recorded on two sites in
Worcestershire. Hazel dormice and their habitats are fully
protected by both the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the
Habitats regulations. The dormouse is also a priority species under
the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and the Worcestershire Biodiversity
Action Plan and has been adopted as a species of Principal
Importance in England under Section 41 of the NERC Act 2006
(section 42 in Wales) and so is protected from any adverse effects
as the result of development.
Protection of Badgers Act 1992, it is illegal to kill, injure or
take a badger or to interfere with their setts. They are afforded
protection in order to prevent badger baiting and other blood
sports involving badgers rather than to conserve badger
populations. The presence of badgers on a development site can lead
to planning permission being refused unless it can be demonstrated
that the species will be adequately protected during the
development process, that disturbance will be kept to a minimum
and, if necessary, that an adequate alternative habitat will be
provided to sustain at least the existing population.
There are three
levels of protection for birds:
1) Those listed on Schedule1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981 (a long list including the Greenshank, Barn Owl, Black
Redstart, Sandpiper, Woodlark) who enjoy protection from
disturbance (intentionally or recklessly) during the breeding
2) The 49 species that are listed as Species of Principal
Importance in England under section 41 of the NERC Act ( includes
Lapwing, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Song thrush) which must be
protected from adverse effects of any development,
3) All species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981, making it an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take
any species of wild bird, and to take, damage or destroy their
nests or eggs.
White Clawed Crayfish
The white clawed crayfish is listed under Annex II of the
Habitats Directive and therefore member states are required to
designate Special Areas of Conservation to protect important
populations of this species. Outside designated sites, white-clawed
crayfish receive partial protection under the law. It is prohibited
to commercially harvest or capture white-clawed crayfish without a
licence but the legislation does not provide strict protection of
individual crayfish or their habitats specifically (although their
habitat is usually indirectly protected through other legislation
such as the Water Framework Directive). The white clawed crayfish
is also a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and
is a Species of Principal Importance in England under Section 41 of
the NERC Act (2006) status of such species when determining
There are a number of Schedule 8 plant species
afforded protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Species present in Worcestershire include the deptford pink
(Dianthus armeria) and early gentain (Gentianella anglica).
There are a variety of important Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)
Habitats within Worcestershire. Habitats include acid grassland,
heathland, ancient woodland, wetland, neutral grassland. The
Worcestershire BAP website contains Habitat Action Plans.
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This page was last reviewed 7 February 2014 at 18:00.
The page is next due for review 6 August 2015.