The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2006 Act protect uncultivated land and semi-natural areas from being damaged by agricultural work, and guard against possible negative environmental effects from the restructuring of rural land holdings.
The regulations cover two different types of project:
Projects on uncultivated land, or semi-natural areas that increase its productivity for agriculture. The types of work covered will include:
- increasing levels of fertiliser or soil improvers
- sowing seed
- physically cultivating the soil (by ploughing, tine harrowing, rotovating etc)
- draining land
- clearing existing vegetation either physically or using herbicides.
Projects that physically restructure rural land holdings. This includes:
- the addition or removal of field boundaries
- recontouring the land through addition, removal or redistribution of earth or other material.
We recommend you check your project against the details given in the EIA public guidance (26 November 2012).
Before beginning your proposed work you will need to consider whether it constitutes either an uncultivated land project or a rural restructuring project. In both cases, you will need to apply to Natural England for a screening decision.
We then have 35 days to consider whether the project can proceed or will require consent. Consent will be necessary only if we believe that the project is likely to have significant effects on the environment.
Further details are given in the Frequently Asked Questions (26 November 2012).
There are three Application forms for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Decision forms:
and if your application affects more than one field, Past management information: (18kb) (EIA 2).
Paragraph 8(4)(b) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations requires that we must enter screening decisions in a register, to which the public must have access at all reasonable times.
In order to meet this requirement, we have made the Public Register: (1.9mb) available online.
This register will be updated regularly and each revised version will clearly display the date of last modification. Any queries about the register should be directed to the EIA Unit of Natural England.
For more information on the EIA (Agriculture) Regulations, please see the following documents:
Alternatively, please contact the EIA Unit for project-specific guidance. Contact details are shown below.
Natural England’s guidance on the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations 2006 has been reviewed to incorporate amendments as a result of experience as to how the Regulations have been applied over the last 5 years. We carried out a consultation with our customers and have taken their comments and views into account. The updated version is now available:
Freephone helpline: 0800 028 2140
Forestry - The Forestry Commission administers the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. For more details see the Forestry Commission.
Planning, building and the environment - Local authorities administer the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, see Circular 02/99: Environmental impact assessment (Department for Communities and Local Government). You can search for your local authority on GOV.UK.