Wild birds: licence to release schedule 9 species

Get a general licence to release native wild bird species whose release is normally prohibited (licence GL22).



It’s an offence to release certain birds under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. However with this general licence you can release certain native bird species if you:

  • took them to tend and rehabilitate and they now need to be released
  • accidentally caught them in a trap or net set for another species
  • took them temporarily under a Natural England licence (such as to ring or mark the bird)

This licence only applies to:

  • northern goshawks
  • corncrakes
  • common cranes
  • white-tailed eagles
  • red kites
  • red-billed choughs
  • capercaillies
  • barn owls

You don’t need to apply for this general licence but you must meet its conditions and follow its instructions and you must comply with relevant animal welfare legislation at all times.