Habitat Regulations Assessment
European legislation requires member states, including the UK, to designate a series of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to protect areas supporting populations and habitats of importance within Europe. This network, along with Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, is widely referred to as the Natura 2000 Network. Any plan or project which could be considered to have a ‘likely significant effect’ on a Natura 2000 site requires a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).
We have extensive experience of undertaking HRA’s across the UK, including both screening studies and full Appropriate Assessments. Our national coverage and local expertise mean we often have a unique insight into the challenges posed by various Natura 2000 sites and we are able to use this knowledge to carry out detailed assessments of potential effects. We subsequent provide professional advice regarding avoidance or mitigation of likely effects, often in consultation with key stakeholders such as Natural England or Natural Resources Wales.