Natural England - Publication scheme

Publication scheme

As well as providing information when asked to do so, the Access to Information legislation also require public bodies to be proactive in the release of official information. As a result, each organisation covered by the Freedom of Information Act must produce a Publication Scheme, giving details of what information it already makes available or intends to publish as a matter of course.

Access to Information Logo

The publication scheme is a guide to key information routinely published by or available from Natural England. It focuses on information relating to our key executive, advisory and promotional duties and also standards and guidance by which we make our decisions. Exemptions to this commitment to proactive publication are clearly defined in the Scheme. But this is not the full extent of what we will make available. We will release information on request wherever possible. Further information about Natural England is available by contacting our Enquiry Service at:

Natural England
Block B, Government Buildings, Whittington Road, Worcester WR5 2LQ
Telephone: 0845 600 3078 (local rate)
Fax: 0300 060 3888

Or via our website or our suite of publications.

In order to keep the Publication Scheme up to date we will review it from time to time so please let us know whether there are any documents that should be included in the scheme.

Publication Scheme and Classes

Natural England is here to conserve and enhance the natural environment, for is intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people and the economic prosperity that it brings.

Natural England is working towards the delivery of four strategic outcomes, which together deliver on our purpose to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of current and future generations.

  • A healthy natural environment: England’s natural environment will be conserved and enhanced.

  • Enjoyment of the natural environment: more people enjoying, understanding and acting to improve, the natural environment, more often.

  • Sustainable use of the natural environment: the use and management of the natural environment is more sustainable.

  • A secure environmental future: decisions which collectively secure the future of the natural environment.

For further details about Natural England, its objectives, targets, and ways of working download our Strategic Direction documentexternal link.

Each year we publish our Annual Report and Accounts and an Annual Review. The Annual Review sets out what we have achieved. Grouped under each of our strategic outcomes, it features case studies and highlights of our work.

Partner organisations

Natural England is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairsexternal link (Defra). It has sister organisations in Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritageexternal link (SNH), and Wales, Natural Resources Walesexternal link. It is via the Joint Nature Conservation Committeeexternal link (JNCC) that Natural England works with SNH, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Environment Agencyexternal link to advise Government on UK and international nature conservation issues.

What is the publication scheme?

We have published the scheme in line with section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The purpose of the Act is to promote greater openness by public authorities (ie government and other public sector organisations).

The publication scheme is a guide to key information routinely published by or made available from Natural England. It focuses on information relating to our key executive, advisory and promotional duties and also on the standards and guidance by which we make decisions. Much more information about Natural England is available by contacting our Enquiry Service, via our website or our suite of publications.

The scheme is structured according to broad classes that reflect the range of our work. Within these classes the information subjects that form our publication scheme are defined. In time the subjects and the amount of information will be increased in line with current initiatives such as more on-line access and also in the light of public demand and comment.

How much do publications cost?

Each subject gives information about charges. Most information is free.

How are they published?

We try to make as much of our published information available on our website link.

Information on the location, interest and condition of SSSIs is available from the interactive map website, MAGICexternal link

We also have a suite of websites dedicated to specific initiatives and subject matter. Links to these sites can be found in the relevant subject section within the scheme.

All publications are also available in paper copy and can be obtained unless otherwise indicated, from Natural England Publicationsexternal link.


It is important that the scheme meets users’ needs. We welcome suggestions for additional classes of information that could be included. We also welcome suggestions as to how the information products and publications themselves might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should be sent to the Natural England Enquiry Service.

Freedom of Information, Open Government and Individual Rights

Natural England is committed to promoting and actively developing, a culture of openness, transparency and accountability embodied in the Access to Information legislation. This refers to the general right of access that the public have to the information held by Natural England and other public authorities.

These principles are defined in Natural England’s Access to Information Statement: (87kb)pdf document. This statement sets out our commitment to our staff, stakeholders and the wider public about how we set about creating a public service organisation that is more open, transparent and accountable.

Information not covered by the scheme may still be available on request. Rights of access to environmental information exist under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004external link. Requests for other types of information are dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000external link.

If the information you want to see is not held within our Publication Scheme you can contact our Enquiry Service, requesting the information. Providing it is not covered by one of the exemptions in the legislation, we will endeavour to provide you with that information in line with our service standards, see Our promise to you under Customer service. Alternatively, you can fill in our on-line request form.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals may also request a copy of any personal data that Natural England holds about them. These requests should be sent in writing to Natural England’s Enquiry Service.


All our informaiton, in whatever format or medium is subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review and news reporting. You must re-use it accurately and not in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as Natural England copyright and you must give the title of the source information/publication. We make as much of our information available as possible under the Open Government Licence, which allows commerical re-use. If information can't be provided under this licence and you wish to use it commercially, you may need to apply for a commercial licence. Please see our copyright page for details on how to apply for a licence.

Where we have identified any third party copyright material you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. For example all maps are reproduced under licence from the Ordnance Survey. 

Information Subjects

Each information subject contains the following information:

  • Subject: Name of information subject
  • Description: A brief description of the nature of the information
  • Availability: Availability and contact points, including any information within the class that may not be publicly available
  • Charge: Charge - only shown where applicable


We have 7 classes of information in our Publication scheme:

  • 1. Who we are and what we do

    Organisational information such as: Management information, roles & responsibilities, job specifications & descriptions, Information relating to the legislation relevant to functions. Working partnerships organisations for which the authority is responsible, Locations & contact details, Meeting agendas, Recruitment information including vacancies, Staff newsletters.


  • 2. What we spend and how we spend it.

    Financial information relating to projected & actual income & expenditure such as: Financial statements, budgets & variances, Quarterly spending reviews, Staff allowances & expenses, workforce pay & grading details, Procurement lists of contracts awarded, financial statements for projects & events.


  • 3. What are our priorities and how we are doing

    Strategy & performance information such as: Corporate plans, Business plans, Departmental plans at all levels, Organisational & departmental performance reviews including Gateway reviews, Inspection reports, impact assessments, service standards, progress reports & statistics.


  • 4. How we make decisions

    Information about our decision making processes such as: Major policy proposals & decisions, public consultations, Minutes of meetings, Internal communications guidance.


  • 5. Our policies and procedures

    Written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities such as: Health & safety, equality, HR, complaints, tendering and procurement, recruitment, service standards, charging regimes. Instructions and manuals, internal guidelines.


  • 6. Lists and registers

    Information held in registers required by statute, other lists & registers relating to functions of the authority such as: Public Registers, Asset Registers, Disclosure logs.


  • 7. The services we offer

    Information about the services we offer such as: Advice & guidance, transactions, media releases, leaflets & booklets.


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