UK BAP an update on progress

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) was published in 1994 and outlined 59 steps for achieving the goal to conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK. Since 1994, the focus of the UK BAP has been on species and habitats whose conservation action has been delivered through Species and Habitat Action Plans (SAPs and HAPs). Other conservation work in the UK, including that listed in the 59 steps, has been delivered partly through these action plans but mainly outside the UK BAP.

Beech in mature woodland, New Forest. © Natural England

In 2005 a review of the UK BAP priority species and habitats was started, leading eventually to a new list of species and habitats. A new way of delivering UK BAP conservation action has emerged, which takes account of devolution (which happened after the UK BAP was published), modern conservation thinking, and more than 10 years’ experience with the UK BAP. It incorporates the original 59 steps, where appropriate.


The approach being adopted is for countries to deal with the priority actions for the UK BAP species and habitats at the most appropriate level (species, habitat, landscape, policy etc.). Single Species Action Plans may be developed but responsibility for some actions for that species could shift to government policy (eg agri-environment schemes) or to habitat groups who will now be more responsible for species than in the past. Habitat groups will also continue to address habitat condition and expansion targets.


The outcome will be that a wide range of biodiversity experts in the UK will take species, habitat, landscape and policy actions that deal with threats to the UK BAP priorities. This approach, involving the statutory and non-statutory sectors, will benefit both the priority species and habitats and a much wider range of biodiversity in the UK.



Ant Maddock

Senior Biodiversity Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1733 866827