Red Tape Challenge: Biodiversity, Wildlife Management, Landscape, Countryside and Recreation (2012) (England and some UK-wide Regulations)
In April 2011, the Government launched the red tape challenge, in which members of the public were invited to let the government know which regulations should be kept, amended, simplified or scrapped.
The challenge was divided into themes, one of which was Environment, with a sub-theme of Biodiversity, Wildlife Management, Landscape, Countryside and Recreation. Many of the regulations described in this handbook were considered as part of the review. Defra published a report in March 2012 setting out a summary of the responses received for the Biodiversity sub-theme and the proposed government response.
The key messages received from the public were that:
- The protection of the natural environment should be maintained but the regulatory landscape should be simplified
- The implementation of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives in the UK is burdensome for business, especially development and construction companies
- Natural England needs to improve the implementation of regulations on the ground, with enforcement targeted on high risk and low performing businesses
In response, Defra proposes to scrap 35 regulations and improve another 69, mainly by combining similar regulations together. The vast majority of these amendments have little consequence for wildlife on development sites. Furthermore, the Defra report defers to the Law Commission’s review of the overall framework of wildlife legislation, which was due to report in 2013 (described above) and a separate review being conducted by Defra on the implementation of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives (described here).