Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This page provides links to the full text of key pieces of environmental legislation relating to invasive weeds. The websites hosting the legislation may list amendments separately.
If you are setting up an environmental management system (EMS) for your business, you can use this list to start compiling your legal register. Your legal adviser or environmental consultant will be able to tell you if other environmental legislation applies to your specific business.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and environmental reports
Noxious Weeds (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1977/52. Defines ragwort, thistle, dock and wild oat as noxious weeds and places a legal responsibility on landowners to prevent the spread of these weeds.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Bans certain methods of killing or taking wild animals, including birds, and restricts the introduction and sale of certain non-native animals and plants. Also sets out the amended laws relating to public rights of way.
Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1985/171. (As amended) It is an offence under Article 15 if anyone plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any species of plant listed on Schedule 9 Part II.
Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Includes new provisions and amends the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and the Environment (Northern) Order 2002 to give protection to a greater range of plants, animals and birds, and to increase protection to Areas of Special Scientific Interest. Gives enforcement authorities new powers and sanctions against perpetrators of wildlife crime.
Weeds Act 1959. Provides a power for Ministers to serve orders requiring the control of injurious weeds.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Bans certain methods of killing or taking wild animals, including birds, and prohibits the release or planting of non-native species. Also contains powers to create secondary legislation further governing the use of the non-native species. See more details.
Environmental Protection Act 1990. Defines the legal framework for duty of care for waste, contaminated land and statutory nuisance.
Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 Extends the regime for controlling non-native species and introduces new wildlife offences.
You may also need to know about and comply with legislation on:
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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