UK Legislation
Primary legislation in England and Wales is made by the UK Parliament, in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament, and in Northern Ireland by the making of Orders in Council in the nature of an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Laws may be amended through successive legislation or specific Amendment Acts. As a result, laws relating to specific subjects (e.g. protected sites) are often found in more than one piece of legislation.
Although previous Acts of Parliament include provisions for nature conservation, the main piece of legislation relating to nature conservation in Great Britain is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). This Act is supplemented, inter alia, by provision in the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 and the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (in England and Wales), and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (in Scotland). In Northern Ireland, the main legislation is contained in the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (as amended), the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Northern Ireland) Order 1995,  and The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002.
See navigation for summary information on the main pieces of legislation relating to nature conservation in the UK. Each summary provides links to relevant areas of work within JNCC, and useful external sources of information (such as online versions of legislative text). Users should note that the summaries provided are correct at the time of writing; however, for up to date information, primary sources should be consulted. Recent legislation is available online at
June 2010