EU Exit (Brexit) information

Scotland's Nature has the same standard of protection as it had before EU Exit.

The UK has left the EU and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU came into force on 31st December 2020. This means that the UK is no longer bound by European legislation. Although we have left the EU, the Scottish Parliament have passed legislation to ensure that Scotland's nature will remain protected to the same standard as before. In addition, in the future, the Scottish Government has committed to maintain or exceed EU environmental standards. 

Natura sites will become known as European sites and represent the very best of Scotland's nature. They include internationally important or threatened habitats and species. European sites are made up of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). SPAs are classified under the Birds Directive to protect birds that are rare or vulnerable in Europe as well as all migratory birds that are regular visitors. SACs are designated under the Habitats Directive for habitats and non-bird species. The Habitats Regulations in Scotland set out how these European sites should be protected.

In addition, certain species are given special protection in Scotland as European Protected Species and again there will be no change to how these species are protected.

For more information on the UK's exit from the European Union (Brexit) and how it may affect people and businesses in Scotland please visit Scottish Government's EU Exit.