Form

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

Apply for a licence to release non-native and schedule 9 species, including muntjac deer, grey squirrels and Eurasian beavers and find out how to report your actions.

Documents

Licence application form to release non-native 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 species or those listed in schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

If you want to release a species to reintroduce it into the wild for conservation purposes (in England), you must follow this guidance.

Natural England will only grant licences to release grey squirrels and muntjac deer for up to one year. Read additional guidance on releasing beavers.

Licences are free. Natural England will decide whether to issue a licence within 30 working days of receiving your application.

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.

Releasing Eurasian beavers into secured enclosures

From 8 December 2017, you should use this application (A03) 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 must 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)
  • 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.

Contact Natural England if you need more guidance.

How to 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 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.