Statutory Obligations - NERC Duty


Early Marsh Orchid

Welcome to Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service’s (SBIS) pages about the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (Section 40).

We will answer your questions about the implications of the NERC Act for public authorities; this includes local authorities, central government departments, NHS Trusts and all other bodies carrying out functions of a public character under a statutory power. Whether you work for a parish council, a Local Authority or a Health Authority, you’ll find our down-to earth, practical ideas and case studies inspiring and easy to follow.

How will the website help you?

This Statutory Obligations pages, in the drop down menu above, explain what local authority's and other public bodies obligations are under the Act and what this means in practical terms. The interactive map gives a clear ‘bird’s eye view’ of where biodiversity conservation is relevant across a wide range of public body services.

The Biodiversity Duty

Public bodies in England and Wales have a key role to play in the conservation of biodiversity. This is now recognised and formalised within Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006, where: “Every public body must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity.”