Form

Water voles: licence to displace them for work on flood defences, water courses or drainage systems (CL24)

Register for a licence to displace water voles to allow internal drainage boards to carry out works that could disturb or damage their burrows and report your actions.

Documents

Registration form (CL24)

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Report your actions (LR24)

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Monitoring form (MON-CL24)

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Licence to allow internal drainage boards to intentionally displace water voles for work on flood defences, water courses or drainage systems (licence CL24)

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Details

You must now have a licence to intentionally disturb water voles and move them from their original location by ‘displacement’.

This licence is for employees of internal drainage boards (the local public authorities with powers to manage water levels within their drainage districts) or anyone acting on behalf of them.

This licence lets you intentionally displace water voles and damage, destroy or obstruct their burrows to maintain or restore flood defences, drainage systems and water courses (such as rivers and streams) for the purposes of:

  • conserving wild animals or plants or introducing them to a site
  • preventing damage to:
    • livestock and their foodstuff
    • crops, including fruit, vegetables and timber
    • property
    • fisheries
  • preserving public health and safety

You can:

  • cut vegetation over the burrow back to bare earth in spring and autumn and if required remove water from the water course (known as ‘water draw down’)
  • carry out a destructive search of water vole burrows following removal of vegetation
  • destroy the empty burrow after a destructive search

You should apply for an individual licence if you can’t follow the terms and conditions of this licence.

Register to use this licence

You must register with Natural England before you can use this licence. Only employees, contractors or consultants acting on behalf of internal drainage boards are eligible to register to use this licence. Send your completed registration form (CL24) by email or post to:

Wildlife licensing

Natural England
Horizon House
Deanery Road

Bristol
BS1 5AH

You don’t need to register if you have a personal survey licence.

How to report your actions

You must report your actions taken using this licence each year, even if you’ve taken no action. Send your completed report form (LR24) to Natural England by 31 January each year using the details on the form.

You must also complete the monitoring form (MON-CL24) each year to check for the presence of water voles at sites where displacement has taken place. Submit this form with your annual report and keep a copy in case this information is requested in future.

Licence renewal

By returning your report form each year you’ve renewed your licence. You should check for any amendments to the terms and conditions of use on the latest published version of this licence.

Published 29 February 2016
Last updated 1 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2018
  2. Annual licence update 2017.
  3. Annual licence update 2017.
  4. Added monitoring form.
  5. First published.