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Environment and Countryside

The term 'environmental law' describes a network of UK Statutes and regulations. These laws address the effects and impact that human activities have on the countryside and natural environments. Information in this section lists the rules and regulations of topics that relate these activities with animal habitats and territories.

Environmental Issues: Planet Earth needs effective and sustainable environmental resource management systems.

It is not difficult to see how societal activities impact wildlife, biodiversity, and the landscape around the United Kingdom.

So, what is the aim of environmental management?

The main objective is to protect and maintain our land and sea ecosystems for future generations.

In essence, the principles need to balance the relationship between what we need to survive as humans – and what we want!

UK Environmental Management Laws

Environment Agency
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Environment incident hotline (24 hour service): 0800 80 70 60
Email: [email protected]

National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
S60 1BY
United Kingdom

Commercial Waste Management

The treatment of waste materials is important for security, climate change, and environmental protection. You must follow government guidelines on business waste management in the United Kingdom.

This section covers other important topics, such as:

  • How to classify different types of waste

Note: Check if a business is operating on a contaminated site and who would be responsible for cleaning up contaminated land in the United Kingdom.

Countryside Code

The key rules of the Countryside Code highlight the responsibilities for people who manage the land and for visitors who access it (e.g. national parks, nature reserves).

Note: Another section explains common land rights, the responsibilities for owners, and the general uses for town and village greens in the United Kingdom.

Fishing Laws

This informative section covers the United Kingdom fishing laws and byelaws. You can find out whether you need a rod licence and what extra permissions you might need to fish in your local area.

Other topics include:

Floods and Heavy Rainfall

Are you living in any of the flood risk areas across the United Kingdom? If so, it is important to prepare for flooding and extreme weather conditions.

Plug In Vehicle Grants

You can buy cheaper brand new low-emission vehicles through plug in vehicle grants. The section lists all electric (plug-in) and hybrid cars, vans, and motorbikes available for a low-emission grant.

Preparing for Emergencies

Each local council emergency plan is set up to cover major incidents. Find out how councils prepare for emergencies, such as flu pandemics and transport accidents.

Report an Environmental Incident

You can report an environmental hazard to the Environment Agency in England. But, certain other types of environmental violations can be reported to the local council or utility companies.

Reporting Treasure

The section explains how to report treasure, archaeological finds, or valuable wreck material, and how to check who would get a share of its worth.

Wildlife Laws

Information on wildlife and biodiversity enforcement laws. Further advice covers government protection of the natural environment in England and the United Kingdom.

Hunting Laws

Firearms Certificate

The police issue shotgun and firearm certificates. You cannot acquire, buy, or possess a firearm or shotgun without a firearms licence. You also need a certificate to buy ammunition.

Hunting Rules

The rules for hunting and shooting wildlife are often controversial. But you can get a fine for illegal hunting in the UK. You can also receive a jail sentence if certain animals suffer while you hunt and shoot. Find out how to follow hunting rules and avoid imprisonment.


Several clean air strategies help business and industry reduce their impact on the environment. Even so, reducing and preventing air pollution is a responsibility for all businesses in the United Kingdom.

Noise Pollution

This help guide contains information about noise pollution from road traffic, as well as the legal limits for noises at night, and those from intruder alarms, trains, and planes.

Nuisance Smells

This section explains how to complain about a nuisance smell and how councils investigate and assess toxic odours coming from business and industrial premises.

Smoke Control Areas

This guide explains how to follow UK rules for smoke control areas and how to use exempt appliances to burn unauthorised fuels in the United Kingdom.

Environmental Management and Countryside Legislation in United Kingdom