This page keeps members and supporters up to date with the latest information, press releases and statements. Our General Licence page contains a list of all the licences now available.


Joint letter sent to Environment Secretary 

In May, the Countryside Alliance, alongside the NGO and Moorland Association, wrote to Defra Secretary of State with a joint paper ‘Wildlife Licensing in England: Chaos, Crisis and Cure’ in order to draw his attention to the continuing crisis in wildlife licensing, and to ask him to set up a feasibility study into bringing wildlife licensing back into central Government, where it can be more efficient, effective and cheaper. We have now been joined by BASC in sending the Environment Secretary a further joint letter with a supplementary paper which updates our earlier analysis, and highlights three key points which needs Defra’s immediate attention and action. Read more here.


Update: General Licences Wales – new licences are now live​

Natural Resources Wales have published online the new General Licences for Wales and we ask our members and supporters to study them and let us know of any concerns you may have. You can find links to them on our General Licence information page here.

The Alliance and fellow stakeholders have been successful in ensuring that some species remain on the permitted species list, particularly on GL001. However, the Alliance has strongly opposed some of the amendments under GL004 which now only allows the protection of eggs and chicks of red and amber listed species. Whilst we continue to work with NRW to resolve the issues we are not content with, we ask our members and supporters to familiarise themselves with the new licences and to contact NRW with any questions and concerns. You can contact NRW by e-mailing Please do copy your Wales Director in to all correspondence with NRW  so that we can log the issues presented to NRW.

We have been assured that the licences are open for continued discussion and that NRW will conduct a comprehensive review in 2020. Please make sure you are signed up to our e-mailing lists to receive updated information.


Update - 12 September 2019

Defra has launched a 12 week online public survey to gather evidence on the control that stakeholders consider is required under general licence, as part of a planned review of general licences to manage wild birds in England.

The aim of the review, which is being led by Defra in close partnership with Natural England, is to deliver a robust system of licensing to manage the issues that arise between the protection of wild birds, and the legitimate activities people need to carry out for specific purposes such as protecting livestock or crops, and for conservation purposes.

The review was announced earlier this year when Defra issued three new short-term licences to control wild birds to conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (GL34); preserve public health or public safety (GL35); and prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (GL36). The survey will focus on the purposes covered by these three general licences. All information submitted will be considered alongside the evidence that Defra received during its shorter call for evidence held in the Spring, which highlighted a number of areas where evidence is currently lacking. This survey therefore builds on that call for evidence, asking for more specific information to feed into the development of a future licensing system.

In parallel, Defra and Natural England will be conducting a series of workshops with interested stakeholders to cover other issues such as activity on or near protected sites. They will also be compiling and considering other available evidence to inform the review.

It is essential that the new general licenses are fit for purpose, simple, and easy to understand. It is therefore incumbent on all those that rely on the general licences for the control of birds in England to complete the survey. Responses must be with Defra by 5 December 2019.


Natural England - General Licence Changes

Further information and advice

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