Defra has concluded its review into how gamebird releases on or near European protected sites are managed and has recommended a new interim licensing regime for 2021.
The review looked at areas including the number of gamebirds released and their impact on protected sites, the consenting process, and whether further safeguards could be provided to protect sites.
The review has found that negative impacts tend to be localised to within 500m from the point of release but recognises the need for further understanding of how to mitigate impacts.
Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has proposed a new interim licensing regime for the 2021 releases of common pheasant and red-legged partridge within European protected sites and within a 500m buffer zone around these sites. The Environment Secretary has also proposed better monitoring of European protected sites.