to Conservation Information
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- Nature conservation:
the Country Agencies:
Nature. Covers nature conservation only. Replaced
NCC in England in 1992.
- The Countryside
Council for Wales. Covers nature conservation, landscape and access.
Replaced Welsh parts of the NCC and the Countryside Commission for England
and Wales in 1992
Natural Heritage. Covers nature conservation, landscape and access.
Replaced Scottish part of NCC and the Countryside Commission for Scotland
country agencies are the statutory government-funded bodies which deal
with species and habitat protection law in Britain, as well as geological
conservation. They also manage National Nature Reserves
(NNRs). International issues, and those covering the whole of Britain are
dealt with by the Joint
Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The Nature Conservancy Council
(NCC) covered the nature conservation duties of the three country agencies and JNCC
until 1992 (it was preceded in turn by the Nature Conservancy, a committee
of the Natural Environment Research Council).
Note: in Britain "Conservancy" implies a statutory role, unlike for example the USA where the
Nature Conservancy is a voluntary body.
- Northern Ireland
is covered by a government department, the Department
of the Environment for Northern Ireland.
- The Countryside
Agency took over the role of the Countryside Commission in England
in 1998. It deals mainly with landscape and countryside access.
- The Environment
Agency (EA). Deals with pollution control and water regulation. Took
over pollution issues from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP)
and the waste departments of county and unitary councils. Took over statutory
water regulation issues from the National Rivers Authority (NRA), which
itself replaced the regulatory elements of the regional Water Authorities.
Heritage (EH) is responsible for Ancient Monuments and other archaeological
matters in England. Overlaps with EN over ancient human remains (which
are both palaeontological and archaeological).
- The Forestry
Authority. Regulates forestry and protects woodland.
- Forest Enterprise.
Deals with commercial forestry production and support. Owns large areas
of land, some of which is managed as Forest Nature Reserves (FNRs)
- Regional water
"plc"s. Cover the whole of Britain. Took over sewage treatment
and water supply (except in areas covered by local water supply companies)
from the regional Water Authorities. Have statutory duties towards nature
- Local water
supply companies. Deal with water supply in some areas. Have statutory
duties towards nature conservation.
of Parliament. Legislation covering the whole of the UK and that affecting
only England or only Northern Ireland.
- Local government
(see Local Government
Association, incorporating the Association of County Councils and the
Association of Metropolitan Authorities - see also Tagish
for links to individual council's web pages):
- County Councils.
Cover the whole country except areas with Unitary Authorities. Deal with
planning matters on a county scale, including transport, minerals and other
- District, Borough
and City Councils. Cover the same areas as County Councils. Deal with planning
matters on a local scale. Include local Land Charges offices which keep
track of land use and planning constraints (not to be confused with the
national Land Registry
which deals with land ownership).
- Unitary Planning
Authorities (including Metropolitan Borough Councils and London Borough
Councils). These replace County and District Councils in some areas, and
cover both levels of issues.
Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Aims to conserve wild
birds and their habitats. Manages many reserves, which often support wildlife
other than birds.
International. International umbrella organisation for partner bird conservation bodies
(in Britain the RSPB). Aims to conserve wild
birds and their habitats.
Aims to protect woodland. Manages many sites.
Wildlife Trusts (the Royal Society for Nature Conservation - RSNC).
An umbrella organisation for the many wildlife trusts, each of which covers
one or more counties, promoting and carrying out wildlife conservation,
including managing reserves.
Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). Coordinates and carries out
practical conservation management work on land, particularly nature reserves,
using volunteers. Coordinates many local volunteer groups.
National Trust (also The
National Trust for Scotland). Owns many large and small estates, aiming
to preserve their natural and man-made heritage, including the landscape
with its wildlife and natural habitats, as well as buildings, monuments
and other built features.
Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Deals with
animal welfare; no specific nature conservation remit; involvement with
wild animals may be positive or negative in conservation terms.
Herpetological Society (BHS). Aims to conserve reptiles and amphibians,
carrying out some conservation work.
Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI). Encourages study of wild plants,
especially their identification and distribution. [Inactive link as at August 2000]
Aims to conserve wild plants.
Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). Aims to conserve diversity of domestic animal
breeds; no direct wildlife remit.
Association. Aims to encourage organic, sustainable and humane agriculture.
No direct wildlife remit.
other specialist conservation bodies dealing with particular groups of
species or particular habitats.
of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) Professional organisation
for practising ecologists in Britain. Organises training and conferences
and provides professional support, aiming to maintain high professional
and ethical standards.
of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Aims to support
the professional development of individuals involved in environmental management
and assessment. Formed in 1999 by merger between the Institute of Environmental
Management, the Environmental Auditor's Registration Association, and Institute
of Environmental Assessment.
Other countryside links