Form

Non-native species: apply for a licence to release them

Get a licence application form to release non-native species and those listed under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, including muntjac deer, grey squirrels and Eurasian beavers.

Documents

Licence application form to release non-native species and those listed under schedule 9 (excluding reintroductions) (A03)

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Report actions taken under this licence

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Details

You need a licence if you plan to release non-native species or those listed in schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. See additional guidance if you want to release a species in order to reintroduce it into the wild in England for conservation purposes.

Natural England will only grant licences to release grey squirrels and muntjac deer for up to one year.

Licences are free. Allow up to 30 working days for a licensing decision to be made.

What you’ll need to include in your application

You’ll need to include:

  • a summary of why you need to apply and the purpose of releasing the species
  • details of the species
  • capture and release details, if appropriate, including timings and markings you’ll use
  • how you’ll monitor any released animals
  • health and disease status of wildlife at the release site and species to be released
  • what you plan to do with any released animals at the end of the project, if appropriate
  • site details, including OS grid references

You’ll need to show:

  • your qualifications and experience
  • if you’ve applied for the licence before
  • conservation considerations
  • authorisation from the landowner or occupier

Releasing beavers into secured enclosures

From 8 December 2017, you should use this application to apply to release beavers into secured enclosures. This does not apply to:

  • existing enclosures unless additional beavers are released into the same enclosure
  • keeping of beavers in zoos or other secure artificial environments

Read guidance on what to do if you want to release beavers into the wild in England.

In addition to the application requirements, you will need to provide a management plan covering:

  • design and construction of the enclosure
  • enclosure maintenance
  • monitoring of beavers within the enclosure
  • management of beaver welfare, recruitment and territorial behaviour
  • measures to prevent escapes and to recapture any animals that do escape (including provisions to deal with any damage causes)
  • exit strategy setting out what will happen to the beavers at the end of the project (or if the project is terminated early).

See guidance on the captive management of beavers for more advice.

You can contact Natural England for further guidance.

How to report your actions

You must send a report of all the actions undertaken with these licences to Natural England within 2 weeks of its expiry date. Send your report using the form provided above.

Published 28 February 2014
Last updated 8 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include information on releasing beavers into secured enclosures.
  2. EU regulation change: restriction to 1 year on a licence to release grey squirrel and munjac deer.
  3. Added revised application form and new licence report form.
  4. First published.