Northern Ireland

The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

The Order makes amendments to Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It includes offences to intentionally kill, injure, or take any wild bird or their eggs or nests and to intentionally kill, injure, or take, possess, or trade in any wild animal listed on Schedule 5. It also prohibits interference or intentional disturbance of places used for shelter or protection. The Order makes it an offence to pick, uproot, trade in, or possess (for the purposes of trade) any wild plant listed in Schedule 8, and prohibits the unauthorised intentional uprooting of such plants. The Order also contains measures for preventing the establishment of species not native to Northern Ireland. 

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995

The Regulations transpose the EC Habitats Directive into national law. The Regulations provide for the designation and protection of 'European Sites' and the protection of 'European Protected Species'. Public bodies are required to have due regard to the EC habitats Directive under the regulations. 

The Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (including amendments up to 2004)

This Act enables the DoE to set water quality objectives and prevent pollution from anti-pollution works. Under the Act, offences include the deposits any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter so that it enters a waterway or water contained in any underground strata; and the discharge of any trade or sewage effluent into a waterway or water contained in any underground strata, without a discharge consent.

The Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

Provides for the declaration and restriction on specified operations for Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). Public bodies are required to further the conservation and enhancement of ASSI land through the appropriate exercise of their functions.

The Environmental Liability (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

The Regulations transpose the EU Environmental Liability Directive in Northern Ireland to prevent and repair damage to water systems, land quality, species and their habitats and protected sites. Regulations apply to a range of activities that cause a risk of 'significant' damage or cause 'significant' damage to land, water or biodiversity. 

The Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

This Act amends the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 by giving additional protection and enforcement powers relating to a wider range of plants, animals and birds. The Act also introduced a statutory duty on all public bodies to further the conservation of biodiversity.

The Planning (Trees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Under these Regulations, trees can be protected through a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). The TPO aims to protect single trees, including veteran trees, or groups of trees from deliberate damage or removal. These Regulations replace the Planning (Trees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 and make transitional provisions. There is also a special provision in relation to trees in conservation areas. 

If you have trees with TPO’s on your campus it is an offence to damage, top, lop, fell, uproot or destroy them. Permission is required from your local authority before carrying out tree maintenance on them.

Further Information