Countryside and species offences

Options available to countryside and species offences we regulate

Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964

Section 25

Summary only offence.

s.25(7)

Failing to comply with a requirement under section 25(6) of the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964 (requirement of statement relating to sale of seeds).

s.25(9)

Obstructing or impeding any person acting in the exercise of the powers conferred by section 25 of the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964 (powers of entry).

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Section 27

Summary only offence.

s. 27(1)(a)

Tampering with seeds so as to procure that a sample taken in the manner prescribed by seeds regulations for any purpose does not correctly represent the bulk of the seeds:

s.27(1)(b)

Tampering with any sample taken in the manner prescribed by seeds regulations for any purpose:

s.27(1)(c)

With intent to deceive, sending, or causing or allowing to be sent to any official testing station or licensed testing establishment, to be tested for any purpose, a sample of seeds, knowing that it does not correctly represent the bulk of the seeds:

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Section 28P

s.28P(1)

Without reasonable excuse, contravening section 28E(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (duties of owners and occupiers of land in relation to SSSIs).

s.28P(2)(a)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and carrying out an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest without first complying with section 28H(1), unless there was a reasonable excuse for carrying out the operation without complying

s.28P(2)(b)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and carrying out an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest (if it has complied with section 28H(1)) without first complying with section 28H(4)(a), unless there was a reasonable excuse for carrying out the operation without complying.

s.28P(3)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and, having complied with section 28H(1), failing without reasonable excuse to comply with section 28H(4)(b)

s.28P(4)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and permitting the carrying out of an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest without first complying with section 28I(2), unless there was a reasonable excuse for permitting the carrying out of the operation without complying

s.28P(5A)(b)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and permitting the carrying out of an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest without first complying with section 28I(4), is, unless there was a reasonable excuse for permitting the carrying out of the operation without complying.

s.28P(5A)(b)

Being an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and permitting the carrying out of an operation which damages any of the flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest without first complying with section 28I(6), is, unless there was a reasonable excuse for permitting the carrying out of the operation without complying.

s.28P(6)

Being a person other than an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which land is of special interest, knowing that what was destroyed or damaged was within a SSSI.

s.28P(6)

Being a person other than an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly disturbing any fauna by reason of which land is of special interest a special interest, knowing that what was disturbed was within a SSSI.

s.28P(6A)(a)

Summary only offence.

Being a person other than an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest.

s.28P(6A)(b)

Summary only offence.

Being a person other than an authority acting in the exercise of its functions under section 28G of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, without reasonable excuse intentionally or recklessly disturbing any of the fauna by reason of which a SSSI is of special interest those fauna.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Suggested notice(s): SSSI Restoration Order

  • On summary conviction, a fine not exceeding £20,000.
  • On conviction on indictment, a fine.

Section 28Q

Summary only offence.

  1. As owner of land included in a SSSI, disposing of an interest in the land and failing without reasonable excuse to send a notice to the Countryside Council for Wales before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date on which he disposed of the interest.
  2. As owner of land included in a SSSI, becoming aware that it is occupied by an additional or a different occupier and failing without reasonable excuse to send a notice to the Countryside Council for Wales before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date on which he became aware of the change in occupation.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

Section 28S

Without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly taking down, damaging, destroying or obscuring a notice or sign put up under 28S(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (notices and signs relating to SSSIs).

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

Section 31(5)

Being the person against whom a Restoration Order was made under section 3 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, failing without reasonable excuse to comply with it within the specified period

Summary only offences.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding £100 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction.

Section 51(4)

Intentionally obstructing a person acting in the exercise of his powers under section 51(1) (powers of entry)

Summary only offences.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale: 51(4).

Proceedings for a summary offence under this Part may be brought within the period of 6 months beginning with the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge and in any event within 2 years of the offence.

Schedule 9A, Part 3, Article 19(1)

Failing to comply with a requirement of a species control order

Summary only offences.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks, or a fine, or both. Where an offence is committed before section 281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force, imprisonment may not exceed 6 months. Where an office is committed before section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 is in force, the reference to a fine is to be read as a fine not exceeding £40,000.

Date in force 12 April 2015

Schedule 9A, Part 3, Article 19(2)

Intentionally obstructing a person from carrying out an operation require of proposed under a species control order

Summary only offences.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

On summary conviction, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks, or a fine, or both. Where an offence is committed before section 281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force, imprisonment may not exceed 6 months. Where an office is committed before section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 is in force, the reference to a fine is to be read as a fine not exceeding £40,000.

Date in force 12 April 2015.

Deer Act 1991

Section 8(5)

Contravening or failing to comply with a condition imposed on the grant of a licence under section 8 of the Deer Act 1995.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Section 3

Otherwise than as permitted under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, interfering with a badger sett by (a) damaging it or any part of it, (b) destroying it, (c) obstructing access to it or any of its entrance, (d) causing a dog to enter it, or (e) disturbing a badger when it is occupying a sett, intending to do any of those things or being reckless as to whether his actions would have any of those consequences.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Section 10

Contravening or failing to comply with any condition imposed on the grant of a licence under section 10 of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017

Regulation 28(8)

Contravening a stop notice served under Regulation 28(1) by breaching the terms of regulation 28(4).

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Regulation 31(5)

Failing to comply with a restoration order.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Regulation 59

r.59(1)(a)

A person (“P”) makes a statement or representation, or supplies a document or information, which P knows to be false in a material particular for the purposes of obtaining, whether for P or another, the grant of a licence under regulation 55 or 56.

r.59(1)(b)

P recklessly makes a statement or representation, or supplies a document or information, which is false in a material particular for the purposes of obtaining, whether for P or another, the grant of a licence under regulation 55 or 56.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

30th of November 2017

Regulation 60

Contravening or failing to comply with a licence condition granted under regulation 55

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Applies in relation to a licence under regulation 55 granted on or after 21st August 2007. The commencement date of this provision is 30 November 2017.

Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019

Article 3(1)

Contravening a provision of the Principal Regulation specified in Table 1 of Schedule 1 of the Order

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 3(2)

Releasing or allowing to escape into the wild any specimen which is not ordinarily resident in and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state or is included in Part 1 of Schedule 2

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 3(3)

Person who plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any specimen which is of a species of plant included in Part 2 of Schedule 2

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 3(4)(a)

Person who sells, offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession or transports for the purposes of sale, any specimen included in Part 3 of Schedule 2

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 3(4)(b)

Publishing or causing to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that he buys or sells, or intends to buy or sell, any specimen of species included in Part 3 of Schedule 2

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 4(1)

Person who, for the purposes of obtaining the grant of a licence (whether for that person or another) knowingly or recklessly makes a statement or representation which is false in a material particular, or furnishes a document or information which is false in a material particular

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 4(2)

Person, who for the purposes of a notice referred to in Article 19(2) [a notice served on a prosecutor which identifies any other person in the act or omission of an offence], makes a statement or representations which is false in a material particular

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 5

Knowingly falsifying or altering a licence

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 6

Knowingly contravening a condition of a licence

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 7

Intentionally obstructing an enforcement officer Failure to give any assistance or information reasonably required by an enforcement officer Pretending to be an enforcement officer with intent to deceive Furnishing an enforcement officer with any information knowing it to be false of misleading

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales

Article 8

Attempting to commit an offence under Articles 3-6

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed are:

  • Compliance notice
  • Restoration Notice
  • Fixed Monetary Penalty
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Civil Sanctions which can be offered are:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Regulations in force 1st December 2019 in Wales