Consultation on Wildlife & Countryside Act Schedule 9 – addition or removal of listed taxa

Currently underway is the consultation on the review of Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) (as amended)). Defra and the Welsh Government have asked Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, to work jointly through the JNCC to review Schedule 9 of the act.

Under section 14 of the Act it is an offence to release animals and plants listed on Schedule 9, or animals which are not ordinarily resident, or regular visitors to GB into the wild. Schedule 9 of the Act lists species which are non-native or native species about which there is conservation concern. This review concerns the listing of non-native species only.

According to the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981), the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Minister for the Environment in the Welsh Government may review the plants or animals on Parts 1 or 2 respectively of Schedule 9. These reviews are overseen by JNCC and the statutory nature conservation agencies. The latest list of species on Schedule 9 can be found in Annex 1 of the Consultation document (links to Word doc).

The plants currently listed under Schedule 9 that particularly concern Plant Heritage and the National Collections are:

Part 2:             Non-native plants (including vascular and non-vascular plants and fungi)

Rhododendron luteum

Rhododendron ponticum

Gunnera tinctoria

Cotoneaster horizontalis, C. integrifolius, C. simonsii, C. bullatus, C. microphyllus

All of which are present in existing National Plant Collections.

In addition:

– Croscosmia x croscosmilfora

– Rosa rugosa

– Parthenocissus quinquefolia

all of which are popular and widespread garden plants

To do this review these statutory agencies have formed a working group with representatives of the environmental NGOs and of the horticulture and pet trade bodies. Therefore, if you would like to contribute to the review, you can forward completed copies of the consultation document to Plant Heritage via mercym@plantheritage.org.uk as soon as possible.Your contribution will then be forwarded direct to the working group.

After the consultation, JNCC will make recommendations to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and to the Minister for the Environment in the Welsh Government for changes to the schedule.

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