Birds: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 7th November 2018.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has received on protecting the bittern under phase one of the 2016 Special Protection Area Review; and what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations of that review.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have not received any representations on protecting the bittern under phase one of the 2016 Special Protection Area (SPA) Review.

We have however received an SPA review phase two report from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, which sets out potential options to address the insufficiencies identified in the phase one report. Officials are currently considering the implications of the report in liaison with Natural England, noting that work to refine these options will need to be prioritised in order to make best use of resources.

For the bittern, the report highlights that there are SPA insufficiencies, which may be addressed by adding the species as a feature of other existing SPAs, where it is present in sufficient numbers. This confirms that the species has expanded in numbers and range, indicating that our conservation measures, including the SPA network, are proving effective.

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