Statutory guidance

Badgers: licence for the Forestry Commission to interfere with setts for forestry operations (CL26)

Get a licence to interfere with badger setts for the purpose of conducting forestry operations.



Only employees or approved contractors of the Forestry Commission can use this class licence.

If you’re not working for the Forestry Commission you must use this individual licence to interfere with badger setts for forestry purposes.

This licence allows you to interfere with badger setts while conducting the following forestry operations:

  • felling, snedding and converting trees with hand-held chainsaws or purpose-built timber harvesters
  • extracting timber with tractors and winches or purpose-built extraction machinery such as skidders or forwarders
  • clearing brash with a 360 degree tracked excavator fitted with a rake
  • erecting forest or stock fencing
  • managing forest rides with tractor-mounted flails, mowers and mulchers
  • maintaining forest roads with tracked mini diggers and vibrating rollers
  • maintaining drainage channels with tracked mini diggers
  • removing dangerous trees

These operations may be carried out within 20 metres of any sett. Restrictions on when they can be carried out are set out in the licence.

Register to use this licence

This is a class licence. You need to notify Natural England in writing that you wish to use it. You must be eligible to register for this licence, that is be employed or contracted to work for the Forestry Commission.

If you’re working on behalf of the Forestry Commission, you’ll also need to provide the name and contact details for a Forestry Commission member of staff who can confirm that you’re a contractor working for them.

Write to or email:

Wildlife licensing

Natural England
Horizon House
Deanery Road


How to report your actions

You must send an annual record of any forestry operations conducted under this licence to Natural England by 31 January each year. You should send your report using this licence report form. Sending an annual report also renews your registration to use this licence.

Published 6 October 2014
Last updated 11 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Text change in the licence under 'Definitions used in this licence': '...entrances that are less than 25 cm in diameter..' changed to '...entrances that are greater than 25 cm in diameter..'

  2. Annual licence update.

  3. Accessible version of licence added - HTML.

  4. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2020

  5. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2019

  6. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2018

  7. Annual licence update 2017.

  8. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2016.

  9. new version of CL26 valid from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

  10. First published.