- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
This Act contains measures to protect both wildlife and the countryside. It is one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in Great Britain.
- The Offshore Marine Conservation Regulations 2007
These regulations apply to the UK's offshore marine area. Activities that have an effect on protected species and habitats in this environment are to be properly managed.
- The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
This Act aims to ensure clean, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas across the UK.
England and Wales legislation
- The Protection of Badgers Act 1992
The killing, injury or taking of badgers and any interference with a badger sett is banned.
- The Hedgerows Regulations 1997
Hedgerows contain a great diversity of wildlife and are often considered to be of historical interest. These regulations were introduced in order to protect hedgerows across England and Wales.
- The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
Regulations are introduced which focus on the protection of the countryside and wildlife, plus the designation of rights of way to the public.
- The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010
The Regulations provide for the designation and protection of European sites and the protection of European protected species.
- The Nature Conservation Act 2004
This Act places a duty on public bodies to conserve biodiversity. It also contains measures to increase protection for both Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and wildlife.
- The Marine Act 2010
The Marine Act is in place to help ensure clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environments in Scotland.
Northern Ireland legislation
- The Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985
This Act provides the Department of Environment for Northern Ireland with powers to manage nature reserves.
- The Wildlife Order 1985
This order contains provisions for the protection of animals, plants and birds.
- The Conservation Regulations 1995
This Act requires the designation, protection and management of European Sites, which includes further planning controls.
- The Environment Order 2002
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is granted the power to declare areas of land as Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs).
- The EC Birds Directive 2009
A broad framework is provided for the management of wild birds across Europe.
- The EC Habitats Directive 1992
The aim of this Directive is to maintain biodiversity.
- The EU Water Framework Directive 2000
This Directive was introduced to protect inland surface waters (rivers and lakes), transitional waters (estuaries), coastal waters and groundwater.
- The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008
This strategy aims to protect the European marine environment.
- The Environmental Liability Directive 2004
This policy is established to ensure that operators who cause damage to the environment are held both legally and financially responsible.