Review of the Schedule 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

Review of the Schedule 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

(England, Wales and Scotland)

The list of species included on Schedule 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act should be reviewed every five years and, as a result of these reviews, the list is now considerably longer than in 1981. The recommendations of the fourth review (published in 2002) were partially adopted in April 2008, with the water vole gaining full protection increased from partial protection and angel shark, Roman snail, spiny seahorse, and short-snouted seahorse also receiving protection.

Fifth Quinquennial Review

The fifth review was published in December 2008. The following species were recommendations for addition to Schedule 5 (protected animals other than birds):

  • Pool frog (Northern clade only): England
  • Common skate
  • Porbeagle shark
  • Spiny lobster: England and Wales
  • Undulate ray
  • White skate
  • Spiny dogfish
  • Pine hoverfly: Scotland
  • Aspen hoverfly: Scotland
  • Narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moth
  • Slender Scotch burnet moth

In addition, it was recommended that two species of plant (rock nail and tree lungwort) be added to Schedule 8 (strictly protected plant species). Increased protection was proposed for water vole (Scotland only), allis shad, twaite shad, spiny seahorse (Scotland only), short nosed seahorse (Scotland only) and angel shark, while reduced protection was proposed for the tentacled lagoon worm and the lagoon sand shrimp. It was also recommended that the lagoon snail, the Essex emerald moth and the northern hatchet shell are removed from Schedule 5, as they no longer require protection. Several ‘species’ of plant are also recommended for removal from Schedule 8 as a result of taxonomic changes.

In August 2011, the Governments for England and Wales published their response and these came into force in October 2011. The main outcomes were that (i) the white skate and rock nail received protection; (ii) the angle shark, the twaite shad, pool frog received further protection; (iii) the protection for the tentacled lagoon worm and lagoon sand shrimp was reduced; (iv) the Narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moth, Slender Scotch burnet moth and tree lungwort also received protection but from sale only; (v) the spiny lobster, porbeagle shark, common skate, undulate ray, and spiny dogfish did not receive protection; and (vi) the Essex emerald moth and the lagoon snail were removed from Schedule 5. In addition, the taxonomic revisions that affected Schedule 8 were all accepted.

In Scotland, the Government indicated that it was minded to agree with all of the recommendations contained in the review. It undertook a consultation exercise and published a summary of the consultation responses in 2012. The recommendations contained in the review do not yet appear to have resulted in amendments to the Schedules of the Act.

Sixth Quinquennial Review

The sixth QQR was submitted to Defra, the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government in April 2014. However, the content of the review and the government response have not been published.

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