Our cases often have an indirect impact on nature conservation, if proposed development is prevented or at least improved from an environmental point of view. A landmark EIA decision in Preston-under-Scar was supported by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust who (correctly) saw its spin offs for nature conservation at the site (where quarrying in the end did not take place) and for wider impact on EIA procedures.
Direct nature conservation cases are relatively sparse. The Lappel Bank case was important for the development of the effectiveness of the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive that followed it. The Fisher case sought (contrary to perceptions) to improve habitat protection for the stone curlew issue in the case, contrary to English Nature's own approach. We have advised in other nature conservation cases, including in relation to proposals for windfarms at Romney Marsh and peat extraction in Yorkshire.
We are presently involved in a dispute in relation to access to fisheries on the underwater sea mounts in the Azores.
We believe the law is an underused tool in this area. Costs are usually the deterrent. The availability of protective costs orders may make such work more commonplace.