Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Nature conservation at mines and quarries

Reducing threats to biodiversity at mining and quarrying sites

Mining and quarrying disturbs the land, plants and animals at the site.

Your mine or quarry can play an important role in helping to conserve habitats and species. When you restore a site, you can provide new and sometimes rare habitats for plants and animals.

What you must do

Prevent damage to protected areas at your mine or quarry

You must prevent or repair any damage your activities could have on:

  • protected species, such as bluebells, bats, badgers, newts and nesting birds
  • protected habitats, such as the habitats of wild birds
  • protected sites, such as sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), or areas of special scientific interest in Northern Ireland (ASSI), special areas of conservation, special protected areas, or ramsar wetlands of international importance.

If you have protected species on your site, you may need consent to move them. For further information, see our nature conservation guidance.

Prevent environmental damage at your mine or quarry

If your activities cause or could cause environmental damage to biodiversity, see our guidance on environmental damage to biodiversity.

Check for tree preservation orders at your mine or quarry

Before you do anything to any tree at your site check with your local council, or local planning office in Northern Ireland, whether the trees are protected by a tree preservation order (TPO).

If you remove, prune, cut down, lop, top or ring bark a tree covered by a TPO without planning permission you are committing an offence.

If your site is in a conservation area the trees will automatically be protected.

Contact your local council

Northern Ireland: Local Councils

Check for invasive weeds at your mine or quarry

You should check your site for:

  • invasive weeds, such as Japanese knotweed or giant hogweed
  • injurious weeds in Scotland or noxious weeds in Northern Ireland, such as ragwort or curled dock.

SEE ALSO: Japanese knotweed, Giant hogweed, and other invasive species

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    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.



  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    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

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    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

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects


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