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Natural England - Wildlife Management and Licensing

Wildlife Management and Licensing

Wildlife Management and Licensing has three main roles:

What we do not cover

Site map - try this if you cannot easily find what you need.

To read more about our work see our leaflet Wildlife Management and Licensing - Balancing the needs of people and wildlifeexternal link. We are committed to providing a high quality service. So that people know what they can expect with regard to customer service we have published the details of our service standards: (186kb)pdf document. We regularly monitor our performance against these standards and our performance statistics will be published at 6 monthly intervals.

All of our guidance, best practice guides and information relating to Wildlife Management and Licensing is given in the List of Regulatory Guidance, Best Practice and Information: (145kb)excel spreadsheet. Each entry provides a link to the documents. Publication of this list is part of the Government’s commitment to the Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulationexternal link.

Seasonal tips

Great Crested Newt – Hibernation is approaching October 2011

The weather will shortly become colder, and overnight temperatures will drop. Great crested newts will begin seeking hibernation sites, and capture operations are likely to become less effective as the weather becomes colder.
The timing for all licensable works involving newts must take account of the weather conditions and time of year. All mitigation licence applications (including re-submissions/modifications) must allow for capture operations to cease when the weather becomes unsuitable, and re-commence in spring 2011, once warmer conditions prevail. Works which involve potentially disturbing or capturing great crested newts (including fence installation if this is within possible hibernation habitats) should not be carried out once newts are likely to have begun to hibernate.
Capture of newts during brief periods of milder weather in winter is not recommended, as these are not considered ‘suitable’ conditions for capture (therefore would not count towards the minimum capture effort specified in a method statement).

White-nose syndrome - advice for batworkers 

With the bat hibernation season upon us and the recent discovery of Geomyces destructans (the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome) in Europe, the Bat Conservation Trust in conjunction with Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, has revised the white-nose syndrome guidance for bat workers in the UK and the Isle of Man.  

This new guidance has been divided into sections that define what is being asked of licensed and unlicensed bat workers undertaking hibernation and swarming surveys. We ask that all individuals visiting underground sites familiarise themselves with this guidance, particularly the sample protocols and decontamination advice.  We also suggest regularly checking the Bat Conservation Trust websiteexternal link, to keep up to date with suspect cases under investigation.

If you have any questions about this advice please contact the Bat Conservation Trust on 0845 1300 228  or alternatively email or

Latest news

  • (3rd October) Natural England has launched the first of several Class Survey Licences - so licensees will no longer need to apply for a personal survey licence each year. There are two levels, GCN Level 1 (WML-CL08): (218kb)pdf document for all survey methods except pitfall trapping and GCN Level 2, (WML-CL09): (170kb)pdf document for all survey methods including pitfall trapping. Current great crested newt licensees will be automatically transferred across to the Class Survey Licence system once licence returns are received. We strongly encourage licensees and new applicants to read our Frequently Asked Questions: (188kb)pdf document which explain why we are introducing these Class Survey Licences and how the process works.

  • (19th September)Reptile mitigation guidelinesexternal link have now been published. This note draws together existing guidance, recent research findings and field observations to produce a single set of standards for good practice in reptile mitigation. It has been prepared for ecological consultants and will be useful to developers, Natural England staff, local planning authorities and volunteers.

  • (14th July) Natural England have released the July edition: (210kb)pdf document of the European Protected Species newsletter.

  • (1st July)Natural England have updated their guidance Handy hints on obtaining a bat mitigation licence at first submission: (150kb)pdf document, this also outlines the ten most common reasons for Further Information Request responses.

  • (11th June) Natural England have released new guidance handy hints on obtaining a dormouse mitigation licence: (128kb)pdf document at first submission (WLMG35), this also outlines the most common reasons for Further Information Request responses. A series of FAQs are currently under review and should be released shortly to assist with common queries with regard to common dormouse and licensing. If you would like to submit a question for inclusion please contact Debby Smith.

  • (4th April) Please be aware on Monday 21st March 2011 from around 11.45am to 3.30pm Natural England experienced technical difficulties with its email system. If you sent anything to the Wildlife Management and Licensing team mailboxes during this period it is possible that we did not receive it. If you are concerned that this may apply to you please contact us on 0845 601 4523.

Previous news

Setting the record straight over wildlife licensing myths

We sometimes see misleading information about wildlife licensing.
Natural England aims to bust the myths.