A key driver for protecting and managing biodiversity on campus is legal compliance. Universities and Colleges should be aware of applicable legislation and required duties in relation to the management and protection of habitats and species that may occur on campus grounds. If there is a breach of duty, penalties can range from set fines to unlimited fines and imprisonment. Liability extends to officers within an institution, depending on the scope of their authority. If work is contracted out, liability still lies with the institution itself as well as the contractor. Grounds maintenance, construction and other key contracts therefore should include clear specifications regarding legal compliance together with a well-defined reporting and monitoring system.

The information presented here is intended to help you identify the key items of legislation that apply to your institution in relation to biodiversity. The information does not constitute professional legal advice. Legislation relating to rare or specific habitats and species and also specialist activities may not be included. You should always consult with the primary source of information, your Regulator and/or seek legal advice in order to determine the legislation and associated duties that apply to your institution.

As you identify your legal requirements it is good practice to establish a legal register that:

If your institution has an Environmental Management System or Biodiversity Management System, you will need to set up a formal system of compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.


England and Wales


Northern Ireland