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UK protected species of plants

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 gives some legal protection to all wild plants. Plant and fungi species listed on Schedule 8 have greater protection. Offences include sale and intentionally picking, uprooting or destroying

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) makes it illegal to uproot any wild plant, unless you have the permission of the landowner. In addition, more than 100 flowering plants and over 75 lower plants are listed on Schedule 8. These species are either rare or vulnerable to exploitation.

This page cannot cover all aspects of the law or plant ecology, but is an introduction to show how you can help to protect Welsh plants.

For these specially protected plants, it is an offence to:

  • Intentionally pick, uproot or destroy;
  • Sell, offer or expose for sale

A small number of plants are European Protected Species. For information on these, see ‘European Protected Species of Plants’.

For information on obtaining a licence, see the Plant licensing. Refer to the links on this page for other details.

Introduced species

It is an offence to allow certain invasive plants to grow in the wild, such as Japanese Knotweed. The Act lists relevant plants in Schedule 9 Part II.

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