Environmental management – guidance

Enforcement laws: advice on protecting the natural environment in England

Get advice from Natural England to help you comply with laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment.


Natural England is responsible for enforcing laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment. Enforcement is used as a last resort but it is sometimes necessary to make sure that the natural environment is protected. Natural England aims to use enforcement 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

The compliance and enforcement position (PDF, 95.1KB, 4 pages) explains how Natural England help people comply with the laws we are responsible for enforcing. It also outlines the general principles followed when Natural England need to take enforcement action.

The following information gives further details on the processes involved in taking enforcement action:

Natural England’s enforcement responsibilities

Natural England is responsible for the following:

Report a suspected offence such as wildlife poisoning

If you want to report a suspected animal poisoning or other abuse of pesticides telephone the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme on 0800 321 600.

If you want to report a suspected breach of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations telephone the EIA helpline on 0800 028 2140 or email: eiaengland@naturalengland.org.uk

If you want to report a suspected breach of a species licence that Natural England has issued, email: speciesenforcement@naturalengland.org.uk. Please put the name of the county that the incident is in at the start of the subject line in order to make sure that your report is dealt with in a timely way.

Please note: breaches of general licences that Natural England issue are enforced by the police. These, and any other offences against protected species, should be reported to your local police service via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If the incident is on-going, please report in 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 might want to ask for a police incident number in order to follow up on your report.

To report any other incidents contact the Natural England enquiries service telephone: 0300 060 3900 or email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk.

Enforcement undertakings

The primary purpose of the enforcement undertaking is to allow the offender to restore and remedy any environmental damage they have caused. Use this offer form (MS Word Document, 41.6KB) to notify Natural England whether you are being:

  • proactive and you are self-reporting a suspected offence
  • reactive to an offence where you have been notified that Natural England intend taking criminal or civil action against you for this alleged offence.

Return your offer by email enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk or post to:

Natural England Enquiries
County Hall
Spetchley Road

Monitoring enforcement

Natural England annual reports of enforcement activity

For earlier reports see Natural England National Archives website

Prosecutions and civil sanctions brought by Natural England (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 73KB)