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Nature Conservation

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Wildlife Law Course 2017

Under the auspices of UKELA members of the nature conservation working party arranged an introductory course on wildlife law again this year. It was held from the 8th to 10th November at Browne Jacobson’s Nottingham offices.

This course is designed for those whose jobs require them to understand the practical impact of the legislation surrounding wildlife. It concentrates on enabling participants to make the best use of the law on the ground and to avoid the pitfalls that accompany such a technical subject as the law.

We will be announcing later in the year if we are holding this course for 2018.

Wildlife law bursary

The wildlife law course arranged every November under the auspices of UKELA’s nature conservation working party makes a little profit due to the generosity of the tutors and Browne Jacobson solicitors. The working party decided that the profit be used to fund an annual bursary of £1,000 to support a post graduate research project addressing wildlife law. We will announce later in the year should this be offered for 2018.

Wildlife Law Bursary Award 2016

The recipient for 2016 was Joanna Miller Smallwood. Joanna completed a BSc Hons in Tropical Environmental Science and an LLM in Environmental Law at Aberdeen University. Her BSc dissertation was published. She worked at Friends of the Earth UK head offices in the parliamentary and in the legal department where she was involved in public interest cases including those concerning genetically modified organisms. Inspired by the work at Friends of the Earth she then went on to qualify as a lawyer (PGDL and LPS; The London College of Law). She completed her training contract and then practiced as a solicitor at Leigh, Day & Co. in London, with a particular interest in environmental law multi-party actions. She was involved in a group litigation against BP representing Columbian peasant farmers which was successfully resolved. Following some time out to look after her two children she returned to university in 2014 and completed an MSc in Social Research Methods at Sussex University. She is currently in the second year of an ESRC funded socio-legal PhD at Sussex University. The title of her PhD is: “The Convention on Biological Diversity’s objectives include conservation of biological diversity at a global level but has it become another victim of extinction as a result of its text and strategic plan?”

Terms of Reference

The scope of the Working Party is to consider issues for and affecting nature conservation. Input to landscape related issues may also be appropriate.

This Working Party’s terms of reference are to:

  • monitor and provide comments / observations on proposed legislation and policies;
  • monitor the implementation of existing legislation and policies;
  • seek to influence relevant legislation and policies as and when opportunities arise;
  • work with and support the devolved administrations working parties on issues for and affecting nature conservation / landscape;
  • work with and support other working parties as and when necessary; and
  • arrange a wildlife law training course for members and non-members annually.

Current priorities are:

  • the review of the EC wildlife directives (European Commission / UK Government);
  • the Environment (Wales) Bill;
  • the implications for the UK environment should the country exit from the EU;
  • the consideration of the implementation of European species protection measures under Article 12 Habitats Directive;
  • to seek better engagement with the devolved countries on the increasingly diverse nature conservation / landscape legislative frameworks.

The Working Party is led by a convenor, currently Wyn Jones. We also have a Chair, currently Richard Barlow of Browne Jacobson.

The Working Party meets four times a year. Three meetings are held at Nottingham and the fourth at conference. We also seek to arrange an annual seminar at a London venue.

The Working Party has around 40 members working in different fields concerned with nature conservation. Participants include individuals from statutory agencies and non-governmental organisations, environmental and planning consultants, lawyers in private and public sector practice and academics. Only UKELA members are eligible to join the Working Party although guests are welcome at meetings.

If you would like to join the Working Party, please contact the Convenor Wyn Jones.

Next Meeting

The next working party meeting will be on Saturday 26th November 2016 at Browne Jacobson's Nottingham office. For more information, contact the group's convenor, Wyn Jones.

Browne Jacobson London office directions

Manual of Nature Conservation Law

Members of the group published in March 2008 the 2nd edition of A Manual of Nature Conservation Law, edited by Michael Fry. The book has been published by a specially set up publishing company, NCWG Ltd.

Consultation Responses

Document TitleComments
Defra's Smarter Environmental Guidance review: UKELA's comments on proposals for reforming development guidance, December 2014 
Biodiversity offsetting in England: response to Defra consultation, 5 November 2013 
Review of the Balance of Competences between the UK and the EU: UKELA's submissions concerning environment and climate change, August 2013 
Nature Conservation covenants: response to the Law Commission, June 2013 
Draft guidance on Habitats Directive article 6.4: response to Defra consultation, October 2012 
Wildlife Law: response to Law Commission consultation, November 2012 
Wildlife Crime: submission to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry, March 2012 
Review of the Habitats Directive: response to Defra consultation, January 2012 
Biodiversity: response to Defra consultation, March 2011 
A Living Wales: response to Welsh Assembly Government consultation, January 2011 
Draft Circular on Biodiversity and Geodiversity: response to Defra consultation, May 2010 
The Nature of England: response to Defra consultation, October 2010 
The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) Regulations: response to the Defra's consultation, November 2005Public consultation on new Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) Regulation.
PPS9 on Biodiversity and Geological Conservation: response to ODPM consultation, December 2004Response to Consultation Paper on PPS9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation
Memorandum for the Enquiry into Town & Country Parks, April 1999For the inquiry into town and country parks by the environment sub-committee of the House of Commons Select Committee on the environment



Wyn Jones

Retired from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee after nearly 30 years working for the statutory nature conservation agencies, where he headed the Habitats advice team and was the lead on the implementation of the EC wildlife Directives in the UK.

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