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, you must email Natural England at 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


Telephone: 020 802 61089

Releasing Eurasian beavers into the wild

You need to apply for a licence to release Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) into open countryside. You can only release beavers as part of a trial to look into issues relevant to the reintroduction of beavers to England. Natural England will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

To be considered for trial, your application should:

  • contribute to our understanding of beavers in England
  • be time limited
  • have a plan for what happens to the beavers at the end of the trial
  • include an exit strategy should problems arise

You can get more advice from Natural England.

Find out how to apply for a licence to release beavers into secured enclosures.

Published 8 December 2017