An evaluation, in light of Brexit, of the extent that the EU has been responsible for improving the habitat conservation regime in England and Wales


  • Luke Johnson Northumbria University



Conservation efforts in Britain originated in the nineteenth century; when Wordsworth described the Lake District as “a national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy.” Since, an abundance of national and international legislation has been passed intending to protect the natural environment and the species inside it. This essay will explore the current habitat conservation regime of England and Wales, evaluating the extent to which the European Union has enhanced the current system. In doing so, this paper shall first outline the international framework before analysing the evolution of the current regime of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. I will then evaluate the Natura 2000 network in order to assess the effect that the EU has had on the domestic habitat conservation system. This discussion will ultimately conclude that whilst the EU has had a positive impact, the system is not doomed to fail following Brexit if the UK government avoid the disparagement of conservational measures.