BASC has recommended the removal of local nature reserves as a subject matter in its response to a Community and Local Government consultation proposing to change the way in which by-laws are made and enforced by local authorities in England.
Currently, a local authority wishing to make changes to by-laws affecting a local nature reserve must receive confirmation by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The proposal, contained within the consultation document, seeks to remove the involvement of the Secretary of State in the statutory decision making process. The proposal also introduces the possibility for a consultation period on changes to by-laws as short as 21 days.
BASC’s land management policy officer, Dr Conor O’Gorman, said: “For 100 years our members have been at the forefront in protecting wildlife habitats from destruction. Making changes to by-laws in local nature reserves is a complex business that needs to take into account the needs of wildlife and local communities. This proposal to streamline the process of making and enforcing by-laws is not appropriate for local nature reserves”