UK Protected Plant Licensing
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 gives legal protection to all wild plants. Plants and fungi on Schedule 8 have more protection. Offences include sale, picking, uprooting and destroying. We grant licences for specific purposes
Any survey work you had planned as part of a species licence application should only be undertaken where absolutely necessary following the latest social distancing guidelines from the government.
- Check the latest guidance provided by environmental businesses such as the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the RSPB or the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
- As it may not be possible to update your surveys this season, this year we will extend this and accept surveys from the last three years.
- You should complete your survey at the first available and appropriate opportunity once restrictions are lifted.
If you have further question you can contact our species team via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
For a full list of Schedule 8 plants, refer to the link on this page.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) issues licences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act for specific purposes, so you can undertake certain activities without breaking the law. We can grant licences for the following purposes:
- Scientific and educational
- Ringing or marking
- Conserving wild animals or wild plants, or introducing them to particular areas
- Protecting any zoological or botanical collection
- Public health or public safety
- Preventing the spread of disease
- Preventing serious damage to crops, property, fisheries etc
Please see the attached application form, ‘Plants – application form’. If you wish to sell a UK protected species, see ‘Possession and Sale of Protected Species’.
We cannot issue licences for the purposes of development under this legislation. If you are proposing to undertake a development that could affect plants, you should make sure that you stay within the law.