Badgers: licence to interfere with setts

Register for a licence to monitor setts or evict and exclude badgers from setts or to destroy them for development or prevent serious damage (licence CL35).


Application to become a registered user of licence CL35

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You can only use this licence to exclude badgers or destroy setts between 1 July and 30 November. At others times you must apply for an individual licence for these purposes.

You must apply to become a registered user of this licence and notify Natural England when you use it.

As a registered user you can interfere with badger setts under this licence to carry out development work or stop badgers causing serious damage by:

  • monitoring setts using ‘soft-blocking’ techniques (temporary blocking with loose soil or vegetation) or inserting inspection equipment
  • evicting and excluding badgers from setts using one-way gates
  • destroying setts

This class licence replaces the need to apply for an individual licence each time you need to interfere with badger setts.

You can carry out works 5 working days after submitting a site notification, unless you hear from Natural England to say you can’t. You must submit:

  • a report form of your actions 14 working days after completing works
  • an annual report form to stay registered to use this licence

Natural England will make the licence, site notification form and report form available to you once you’ve registered to use this licence. The licence is free of charge.

Criteria to get registered

You can apply to be a registered user of this licence if you’ve:

  • held, or are named on, at least 4 licences to close badger setts within the last 5 years (‘eligible licences’)
  • successfully excluded badgers from 4 different sites, which include a main sett at 2 of the sites
  • proven experience from previous licences of using one-way gates to exclude badgers from setts
  • designed competent schemes in your method statements to show you can exclude badgers from setts without causing harm
  • met the deadlines for submitting licence return forms with full details of action you’ve taken under licence
  • had no enforcement action taken against you for any wildlife licences you’ve held
  • had no convictions of wildlife-related or animal welfare offences in the last 5 years
  • evidence that you’re a full member of a professional body (or an associate member for at least 3 years) such as the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) with authority to handle misconduct
  • evidence that an appropriate third party can investigate malpractice, if you’re not a member of a professional body

Disability consideration

Email Natural England at if you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to meet these criteria. Natural England will consider your request on its merits.

Apply to register

You can apply to register using the application form on this page. There’s no charge to apply.

To be eligible to apply you must provide Natural England with the reference numbers of 4 eligible licences you’ve held in the last 5 years. Two of these must be for main setts.

For each licence you’ve held you must have completed a method statement and return form.

You must send your completed application form by email to Natural England

Natural England will review the information you’ve submitted. You’ll get an email within 30 working days to tell you if you’re registered to use this licence.

If your formal application failed

You can re-apply for registration to use the badger class licence CL35 if you failed to meet the criteria the first time round.

You can choose to apply for an individual licence to interfere with badger setts for development purposes or to prevent serious damage.

Published 20 March 2017
Last updated 9 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Amended guidance on how to apply for registration to use this licence. A new application form has replaced 2 previous forms.
  2. First published.