Even though Catfield Fen is protected by the highest level of EU conservation legislation, it has taken over seven years and much effort and expense to get the risk from local abstraction officially recognised. As further delays would mean greater risk of irretrievable damage to the fen, the EU Commissioner for the Environment has launched an investigation.
In October 2015 the commission issued a “reasoned opinion” to the UK government, giving it two months in which to respond or, otherwise face the European Court.
The EU’s Environment Commission is the only third party with the independence and clout to start the reform process of how the UK manages water in its wetlands. Under EU law, the EA has a legal obligation to stop water abstraction affecting such a sensitive site unless it can be proved that it is not responsible for the damage.
Here we share all documents related to the EU complaint.