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Update on the Quinquennial Review (QQR 7) of Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

News Item 2021

Update on the Quinquennial Review (QQR 7) of Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

This is JNCC’s update (27 July 2021) on its work in relation to the Quinquennial Review of Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, legislation that helps ensure the protection of species (plants and animals) from collection, sale or persecution.

In summary, the work involves discussions with a range of interested stakeholder groups. It is being taken forward in four phases:

  • Data gathering
  • Analysis
  • Consultation
  • Peer review and sign off

The first phase of data gathering is now complete. This has been an informal process involving staff from the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies and a range of non-governmental organisations to gather views and evidence for species proposals.

This has been informative and now will be followed by a period of analysis and further consideration of the issues involved. Once the evidence has been analysed, JNCC will carry out an engagement exercise with a range of non-governmental organisations. This period of engagement is expected to last three months, running from the beginning of October to the end of the year. The results of this engagement exercise will be given consideration when providing our advice and recommendations to governments, which is to be completed and delivered in 2022.

The two key areas of the work are:

(1) Recommendations regarding species to be added to the Schedules

The QQR7 has three main steps for species to be proposed for listing on Schedules 5 (animals) or 8 (plants, non-vascular plants, and fungi):

  • why species are considered (the Rationale);
  • which species should be considered (the Eligibility); and
  • if species meet the need for protection under the WCA (the Decision).

The judgements used in the process for adding species will mean that the species that JNCC, through the QQR 7 process, recommends being added to the Schedules are those that are clearly identified as being threatened by collection, sale or persecution, as described in the legislation.

(2) Recommendations regarding species to be removed from the Schedules

Importantly, for species already listed on existing Schedules, their conservation dependence on the protection afforded by the Schedules will be fully assessed in the analytical phase of the work, which is starting now. A precautionary approach to the assessment will be used.

Dr Gemma Harper, Chief Executive of JNCC, said:

"Thank you to the various stakeholder groups engaging with the process so far. The work is still at an early stage and the analysis of data and information is only now beginning after completion of the first phase of activity. The engagement exercise with a range of non-governmental organisations will follow this analysis and will take place later this year. 

Professor Colin Galbraith, Chairman of JNCC, added:

"We will ensure that the next phase of work to analyse the initial data and information collected is undertaken rigorously and objectively We are committed to ensuring that JNCC maintains high scientific standards in this process and in all its work".

For further information, visit the QQR7 webpage.



Our previous statement was issued on 25 June 2021.

QQR overview: 25 June 2021

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation.

One of JNCC’s many roles is our work with the country nature conservation bodies (CNCBs) to ensure that legislative lists of protected species are up-to-date, including species that are protected in Great Britain under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Every five years, the CNCBs in Great Britain (Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and NatureScot), working through JNCC, review Schedules 5 and 8 of the Act through a Quinquennial Review (QQR).

In 2016, JNCC, the CNCBs and non-governmental organisations revised the criteria used to select species for inclusion on the schedules.

The data-gathering phase of QQR 7 began on 8 April, and will run until Wednesday 7 July 2021, via an online survey. Through this process stakeholders are able to:

  • propose additional Endangered species for inclusion on the schedules;
  • propose species for removal from the schedules;
  • propose a change in protection status of species on the schedules.

Stakeholders will be invited to comment on amendments to the list through a formal consultation phase in the autumn.

Following the consultation phase, recommendations will be provided to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the devolved administrations in Great Britain for changes to the schedules.

The QQR process covers Great Britain only, and therefore does not include Northern Ireland.

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