Website Cookie Policy

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we’ll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.
See our cookie policy for more information.

Practice Areas

More Information

Leeds: 0113 244 6100

Sheffield: 0114 267 5588


Is the Government wild enough about the Wildlife Bill?

November 2015

Landowners should take note. The Bill is not intended to introduce new law but there is a new offence that landowners should be aware of.


The Law Commission recently published a draft Wildlife Bill that aims to consolidate and simplify the complex framework of legislation that protects wildlife species in England and Wales. 

Potential offence for landowners

The draft Wildlife Bill introduces a new offence of knowingly causing or permitting another person under your control to commit an offence under the new regime. 

The concept of "knowingly causing or permitting" has been more widely used in other environmental legislation, particularly for waste. This new offence has been broadly welcomed by countryside groups after much lobbying because the Bill does not introduce vicarious liability. This is a relief for employers as vicarious liability  would have meant that an employer could have been held responsible for the actions or omissions of an employee.

Is this law in force yet?

No, it is only a Bill so the new law is not in force yet.

The question remains as to when the legislation might be introduced.  The Law Commission prepared its report and the draft legislation at the request of our previous coalition government and it is not clear whether the current government intends to bring the legislation forward. 

If enacted, the Wildlife Bill will allow the Secretary of State to repeal twelve acts of parliament. Though the Bill was not mentioned in the Queen's speech 2015, the simplification and consolidation of the current complex and confusing legislation may mean the draft Bill appeals to the landowner supporters of our current government.

Further reading:

Comments from the CLA can be read here

Information on the Law Commission’s report on a new Wildlife Bill can be found here

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Oliver Hallam on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys  Private Client team on Twitter here

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors



20 Aug 2019

Mutual Home Ownership Societies (MHOS): the next phase

We are very pleased to announce that we are working on proposals to develop low cost homes in York, with Yorspace and Lowfield Green Housing Co-op.

19 Aug 2019

Was an employer vicariously liable for workplace harassment via social media?

EAT provides useful guidance on a developing area of potential liability for employers.

14 Aug 2019

Changes to Companies House register help protect health and safety of individuals by restricting public access to personal information

This is helpful for persons who may be at risk of personal threat of harm because of their public profile or sensitive occupation.