Guidance

Reintroducing species into the wild in England

How to apply for a licence to reintroduce species into the wild in England.

How to apply for a licence

You need 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 reintroduce a species into the wild, you should look at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature: Guidelines for reintroductions and other conservation translocations.

For an application form, email Natural England at wildlife@naturalengland.org.uk and ask for a ‘licence application for a species translocation project’ (England).

You should complete and submit your application with:

  • a feasibility study
  • evidence of support in the proposed release site(s)
  • an assessment of the potential effects of the proposed reintroduction on biodiversity and socio-economic interests
  • a contingency plan to cover negative effects and exit strategy

Don’t use spiral binding for your report as this makes scanning and copying difficult. Natural England may contact you to request further information.

Completed application forms should be sent to:

Wildlife Licensing
Natural England
Horizon House
Deanery Road
Bristol
BS1 5AH

Email: wildlife@naturalengland.org.uk

Telephone: 020 802 61089

Releasing Eurasian beavers into the wild

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is to consult on a strategy to manage beavers in the wild and a national approach for further releases. The consultation follows the successful reintroduction of beavers in Devon.

You will not be able to get a licence to release beavers into the wild, including from existing fenced enclosures, until after the consultation has ended and responses have been considered.

Any future release into the wild will follow new licensing rules in line with the International Union for Conservation of Nature: Guidelines for reintroductions and other conservation translocations.

You can still apply for a licence to release beavers into secure enclosures.

You can more advice from Natural England.

Published 8 December 2017
Last updated 25 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Guidance for releasing beavers into the wild has been updated. You will not be able to get a licence for release into the wild until after a consultation period has ended.

  2. First published.