Posted by: westlancashirerecord | November 4, 2018

Bats And Hedgerows

Rosie Cooper Labour , West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, what provision there is for short-term protection of (a) bats and (b) other species with life spans of five to eight years; and what steps he plans to take to increase protection for mature hedgerows from developers. [Hansard]

Therese Coffey, Conservative  The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

A wide variety of species are afforded protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017) and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, including all species of bat found in this country. All listed species are covered irrespective of their expected lifespan, which is not a criterion in identifying the need for protection of a species.

Legal protection for hedgerows is provided by the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. These regulations prohibit the removal of most countryside hedgerows (or parts of them) without first seeking approval from the local planning authority, which is required to decide whether a hedgerow is ‘important’ because of its wildlife, landscape, historical (i.e. more than 30 years old) or archaeological value and as such should not be removed.

Protesters against the large scale development of farmland proposed in the new Local Plan Review should prepare lists of every hedge that might be affected by development and object to them, or parts of them, being removed. Single objections to each and every hedge could bog the council plans down for a long time. Bats are equally important.  


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