Byelaws for Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England

Closed 22 Aug 2018

Opened 27 Jun 2018

Results updated 9 Jun 2020

Following the consultation, we have published Natural England's consultation response, a final set of Operational Principles and a Defra-approved set of Model Byelaws.



Natural England is inviting views on its proposed approach to considering the use of its existing SSSI byelaw-making powers provided by Section 28R of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000). These byelaw-making powers are to be used specifically for the protection of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (‘SSSIs’) in England. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are notified by Natural England as part of its statutory functions and are specially protected by law in order to conserve their wildlife or geology. As part of its ongoing work to further its Conservation Strategy and deliver better and proportionate regulation to benefit the natural environment, Natural England is seeking to improve its capability to exercise its existing SSSI byelaw-making powers, where this might be considered an appropriate and necessary action. This will maximize the flexibility Natural England has to protect the special wildlife of these special and important places. The consultation proposals are provided in the consultation documents below.


  • Coastal local authorities
  • National Park Authorities
  • Recreation sector
  • Coastal Management sector
  • IFCAs
  • Local Authorities
  • Pet Carriers
  • Walkers
  • Horse riders


  • Natural environment
  • Marine
  • Access to countryside and coast