This afternoon a ‘fitness check’ by the European Commission recognised that the European Birds and Habitats Directives are relevant and remain fit for purpose.

This means the Directives will not be re-opened but more work is required to ensure the Directives are properly implemented into UK legislation.

The Directives are vital to the protection and conservation of some of the UK’s most precious nature sites, referred to as Natura 2000 sites, and ensure a European-wide strategy for their protection.

The fitness check highlighted inadequate investment and management for these sites and the European Commission will now start the process of producing an Action Plan to alleviate these deficiencies.