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Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (2004 asp 6).

Type of law
Date of original text

The Act sets out a series of measures which are designed to conserve biodiversity and to protect and enhance the biological and geological natural heritage of Scotland. In doing so, the Act provides the principal legislative components of a new, integrated, system for nature conservation within Scotland. The Act also locates the conservation of biodiversity and of Scotland's natural environment within a wider British, European and global context. In relation to biodiversity in particular, it requires public bodies and office-holders to consider the effect of their actions at a local, regional, national and international level.
The Act is divided in 5 parts and contributes to the new system for nature conservation by means of a combination of both new measures and amendments to existing legislation. In Part 1 it introduces a new general duty on all public bodies and office holders to further the conservation of biodiversity. In the exercise of their functions, they must have regard, among other things, to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992. Part 2 makes changes to the existing arrangements for the establishment and protection of sites of special scientific interest. In doing so, it replaces most of Part II of the existing Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c.69). The Act extends in Part 3 the law in relation to the protection of birds, animals and plants by making significant amendments to the current provisions of Part I of the 1981 Act and by requiring production of a new code of guidance covering whale and dolphin watching and similar activities. Part 4 requires the creation by Scottish Natural Heritage of a code of guidance setting out recommendations, advice and information relating to fossils. Part 5 provides for various supplemental matters including the publication of statutory guidance about the duty to further the conservation of biodiversity and Scottish Natural Heritage's functions under Part 2 and for minor and consequential amendments and repeals to a variety of other Statutes.
Long title of text
An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision in relation to the conservation of biodiversity; to make further provision in relation to the conservation and enhancement of Scotland's natural features; to amend the law relating to the protection of certain birds, animals and plants; and for connected purposes.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Entry into force notes
This Act (except sections 53 and 56 and this section) comes into force on such day as the Scottish Ministers may by order appoint.
This Act amends also: the Harbours Act 1967 (C. 40), the Forestry Act 1967 (c.10), the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c.27), Channel Tunnel Act 1987 (c.53), the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991 (c.28), and the Scottish Land Court Act 1993 (c.45),The last textual amendment was made by the The Communications Act 2003 and the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Consequential Amendments to Primary Legislation) Regulations 2017. Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 29 May 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. (See end of Document for details),
Source language


Legislation Amendment