Conservation in the United Kingdom

This page gives an overview of the complex structure of environmental and cultural conservation in the United Kingdom.

With the advent of devolved government for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and of evolving regional government for England, the responsibilities for environment and conservation in the United Kingdom have become more complicated.

There follows a list of the legislation, conservation bodies (both governmental and otherwise), and conservation designations, which work together to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the UK. A list of 'objects of conservation' provides further links.

Legislation

Some of the key legislation which governs conservation issues in the UK. This list is not exhaustive.

Conservation bodies

Government departments

Governmental bodies

The following are Executive Agencies of the UK government and regional executives, with note on their areas of responsibility.

United Kingdom

England

Scotland

The following are Public bodies of the Scottish Government, with notes on their areas of responsibility.

Wales

  • Cadw cultural and built heritage
  • Natural Resources Wales (NRW) (formerly Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and Environment Agency Wales) protection of landscapes and rural countryside, regulation of waterways, pollution, waste management

Northern Ireland

Non-governmental organisations

Conservation designations

National parks

Areas designated by government agencies

The following designations are established or monitored by the executive agencies listed above.

DesignationAbbreviationCountryAgency
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB EnglandNatural England
WalesCCW
Northern IrelandNIEA
Environmentally sensitive areaESAEnglandNatural England
Heritage coast EnglandNatural England
WalesCCW
Marine nature reserveMNR
National nature reserve NNR EnglandNatural England
ScotlandSNH
WalesCCW
Northern IrelandNIEA
National Scenic AreaNSAScotlandSNH
Nitrate vulnerable zoneNVZEnglandEnvironment Agency
Scheduled monument SAM EnglandEnglish Heritage
ScotlandHistoric Scotland
WalesCadw
Northern IrelandNIEA
Site of Special Scientific Interest SSSI EnglandNatural England
ScotlandSNH
WalesCCW
Northern IrelandNIEA
Special landscape areaSLAWalesCCW

Other United Kingdom conservation designations

International conservation designations

Other United Kingdom conservation policies

Objects of conservation

United Kingdom

England

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

See also

References

  1. "Environment and Forestry Directorate". Scottish Government. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  2. "Forestry devolution: resource list". Scottish Government. 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. Forestry England
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