Statutory guidance

Stoats: licence to trap them to conserve wild birds (GL38)

Get a general licence to trap stoats to conserve vulnerable wild birds.

Applies to England



You can use this general licence if you’re a landowner, occupier or authorised person.

Use this licence to conserve the following wild birds which are vulnerable to predation by stoats:

  • game birds in situations when they’re vulnerable to stoat predation
  • native species of waders
  • other native ground nesting birds

This licence allows you to trap stoats using traps certified for use against stoat in England.

You do not need to apply for this general licence but you must comply with its terms and conditions.

When you must apply for an individual licence

You must apply to Natural England for an individual licence if you need to carry out activities that are not permitted by this licence.

Humane trapping guidance

Badgers, beavers, otters, pine martens and stoats: how to trap humanely.

Published 31 March 2020
Last updated 1 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. Annual licence update, valid from 1 January 2022.

  2. Perdix spring trap has been added to the list of permitted use of traps under this licence.

  3. Annual licence update.

  4. Accessible version added - HTML.

  5. First published.