The UK's statutory nature conservation organisations have announced the commencement of the 6th 'Quinquennial Review' (QQR) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA).

As implied, the review takes place every five years, wherein an inter-agency working group led by JNCC carries out consultations of relevant stakeholders. The review decides whether any additions or amendments are justifiable to Schedules 5 and 8 of the WCA.

Species may be added to these schedules if new evidence has come to light on their decline, and if protection is thought useful in conserving the species in question. Conversely, species can be removed if protection is no longer necessary.

JNCC then makes recommendations to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and to Ministers for the Environment in the Scottish Government and Welsh Government, for changes to these schedules.

The main consultation phase of the 6th QQR is starting now, in July 2012.  For anyone or any parties wishing to participate, the information pack is available here:

The main consultation period will last from 2 July 2012 to 30 March 2013.  Participants are encouraged to discuss proposals with relevant statutory agency staff when preparing submissions. The contact details of members of the 6th QQR inter-agency group are listed in the Information Pack