Get advice from Natural England to help you comply with laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment.
Applies to England
Natural England is responsible for enforcing laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment. Natural England aims to use enforcement:
- as a last resort but it is sometimes necessary to make sure that the natural environment is protected
- in a consistent and proportionate manner to target illegal activities that have the greatest impact on wildlife, geology and landscapes
Natural England’s compliance and enforcement position
Theexplains how Natural England helps people comply with the laws it’s responsible for enforcing. It also outlines the general principles followed when Natural England need to take enforcement action.
Further details of the processes involved in taking enforcement action:
Natural England’s enforcement responsibilities
Natural England is responsible for:
- sites of special scientific interest
- environmental damage regulations
- heather and grass burning
- agricultural work that affects uncultivated land or semi-natural areas
- breaches of wildlife licences and notices
- pesticide poisoning to animals
- complaints relating to weeds
Report a suspected offence
Animal poisoning or other abuse of pesticides
Report a suspected animal poisoning or other abuse of pesticides by calling the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme on 0800 321 600.
Breach of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations
Report a suspected breach of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (Agriculture) Regulations by calling the EIA helpline on 0800 028 2140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breach of a species licence issued by Natural England
Breaches of general licences issued by Natural England are enforced by the police. Report these and any other offences against protected species to your local police service via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If the incident is on-going, report it to the police on 999. In all cases, you should ask if the case can be referred to a police wildlife crime officer (PWCO) for investigation. You can ask for a police incident number to follow up on your report.
Report a suspected breach of a species licence issued by Natural England by email to email@example.com. Put the name of the county that the incident occurred in at the start of the subject line to help Natural England deal with your report.
Report any other incidents to the Natural England enquiries team by calling 0300 060 3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The primary purpose of an enforcement undertaking is to allow the offender to restore and remedy any environmental damage they have caused. Use theto notify Natural England if you are:
- being proactive and self-reporting a suspected offence
- reacting to an offence where Natural England has notified you it intends taking criminal or civil action against you
Return your offer to:
Enforcement and Appeals Team
Natural England annual reports of enforcement activity:
See the register of enforcement action taken by Natural England.