The Nature Conservation Act 2004 (Scotland)
The Act orders Scottish Ministers to create more strategies for the conservation of biodiversity. They must also publish lists of species of flora and fauna, and also important habitats for further protection.
Conservation of natural features
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is amended to provide enhanced protection and management for SSSIs. Under this law, third parties can be convicted for damaging SSSIs and authorities can create bylaws to conserve these sites.
Scottish Ministers can make Nature Conservation Orders which protect nature of special interest. Land Management Orders can also be introduced which state that operations are required to conserve, restore or enhance a natural feature in or around an SSSI. The Act does also contain a condition to state that these Orders can be appealed.
The Act incorporates amendments to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The species protection afforded to wild birds, animals and plants is extended. Under this legislation, it is made an offence to act recklessly and in turn adversely affect a protected species. It also becomes an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a dolphin, whale or basking shark.