Recent changes to the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 allows the NI Environment Agency to enact an Order to protect waterfowl (ducks, geese and waders) in periods of prolonged severe weather conditions. A similar Special Protection Order can apply to Game birds.
After seven days of severe weather, a call for voluntary restraint in relation to shooting waterfowl will usually be issued by Shooting Organisations. After 14 consecutive days of severe weather an Order to suspend shooting could be issued by NIEA. Once implemented the Order can last up to 14 days, but is reviewed after 7 days following consultation with Shooting Organisations. For more information on severe weather regulations visit