Form

Non-native (alien) species: apply for a licence to release them (A03 and LR03)

Apply for a licence to release non-native (alien) species and schedule 9 species, including Eurasian beavers into secure enclosures, and how to report your actions.

Documents

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

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Report your actions (LR03)

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Details

You must apply for a licence if you plan to release non-native (alien) species or those listed in schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. This includes releasing beavers into secure enclosures.

This licence does not apply to reintroduce a species into the wild for conservation purposes. Follow the guidance on species reintroduction for more information.

Natural England will no longer grant a licence to release non-native (alien) species listed under the Invasive Alien Species Order 2019. This includes:

  • grey squirrels
  • Egyptian geese
  • muntjac deer

You must use licence IAS A01 to move or keep invasive non-native (alien) species for welfare purposes.

What you must include in your application

On your application form (A03), you must 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 Ordnance Survey grid references

You must provide evidence of:

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

Send your completed application form to Natural England using the details on the form.

This licence is free. Natural England will contact you within 30 working days of receiving your application, to discuss your proposals.

Releasing Eurasian beavers into secure enclosures

Use application (A03) to apply to release beavers into secure enclosures. You should consult landowners and other interested parties before you submit your application for licence A03.

This licence does not apply to:

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

Read guidance on releasing beavers into the wild.

What you must include in your application

With your application, you must provide a management plan that includes:

  • 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)
  • an 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 information.

This licence is free. Natural England will contact you within 30 working days of receiving your application to discuss your proposals.

Contact Natural England if you need more guidance.

Report your actions

You must report any actions you took using this licence on the report form (LR03) on this page. You must report no later than 2 weeks after your licence expires, even if you’ve taken no action. Send your completed form by post or email to Natural England using the details on the form.

Published 28 February 2014
Last updated 15 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Removed grey squirrels and muntjac deer from this licence. Use licence IAS A01 to move or keep these non-native animals for welfare purposes.

  2. Updated to include information on releasing beavers into secured enclosures.

  3. EU regulation change: restriction to 1 year on a licence to release grey squirrel and munjac deer.

  4. Added revised application form and new licence report form.

  5. First published.