Natural England - Enforcement


We are responsible for enforcing laws that protect wildlife and the natural environment.

Enforcement is used as a last resort but it is sometimes necessary to ensure the natural environment is protected. We aim to use enforcement in a consistent and proportionate manner that is targeted at illegal activities that have the greatest impact on wildlife, geology and landscapes.

On this page:

What are Natural England's enforcement responsibilities?

Position and guidance

Our Compliance and Enforcement Position: (96kb)pdf document explains how we help people comply with the laws we are responsible for enforcing. It also outlines the general principles we follow when we need to take enforcement action.

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

These documents were published in December 2011 following a public consultation. A summary of responses: (162kb)pdf document and the full responses received as a result of the consultation.


We publish annual reports on our enforcement activity:

Details of our prosecutions and use of civil sanctions listed in our Publication Scheme.

Defra have published a guide to inspectionsexternal link, which provides information about how, when and why government officials might inspect your farm.


We contribute to the Wildlife Law Enforcement Working Groupexternal link - an expert panel which advises the Government on the UK's wildlife crime priorities.

Partnership working

We work with many other enforcement agencies to tackle wildlife crime. We are members of the steering group and various working groups of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crimeexternal link. We have a Memorandum of Understanding: (98kb)pdf document with the Countryside Council for Wales, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service. We share intelligence with the National Wildlife Crime Unitexternal link.

Prosecutions and Civil Sanctions brought by Natural England

Public register - civil sanctions and prosecutions: (114kb)excel spreadsheet