EU legislation on species and habitats sets standards for nature protection; but there is more to do to implement these laws fully.
In just over a decade the bittern, a rare bird which lives in reed beds, has been brought back from the brink of extinction in the UK. This was done through reed bed restoration projects driven by the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.
But if we vote to leave the EU, this piece of legislation will no longer apply, and EU funding would cease for many conservation projects. Even if the UK puts similar legislation into place in the future, there is likely to be many years of uncertainty ahead which threatens the progress we’ve made in protecting our precious wildlife.