Natural England Licence Updates

Natural England has issued the below update on licensing in its latest Wildlife Licensing Newsletter (April 2020):


Update on GCN Low Impact Class Licence (GCNLICL)

Natural England can confirm that the licence will be available for use by existing registered consultants, and open for new registered consultant applications in 2020. Natural England has not provided training on this licence type since 2016 and we are currently updating the content. Natural England will therefore accept applications from registered consultants with the correct ecological experience in lieu of this training.

The GCNLICL training will be charged for at our usual rate and will be delivered later on this year, post Covid-19 restrictions. Details will be confirmed in due course.

At this stage however, we do wish to highlight that the GCNLICL will have an in-depth review in January 2021. This will evaluate all options on the future of the licence. This includes removing it in view of the growth of our district level licensing programme. We will evaluate our data in January 2021 and communicate any changes to you. Prospective registered consultants should be aware of the possibility of paying for GCNLICL training in 2020 and the licence potentially being removed in 2021.

We also wish to remind all registered consultants that your registration can be revoked at any point and all users of the licence should adhere to the class licence conditions and reporting requirements.

Badger licences: introduction of charges deferred

We will be deferring introduction of charges for the three licences below due to collective pressures brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. We will notify you at least 6 weeks before charges are due to be introduced but this is not expected to be within the 2020 season for badgers (1st July – 30th November).

We have also taken the decision to defer the introduction of charges for the following licence, where this is used for surveys in advance of development projects:

Change to Badger Class Licence WML-CL35 (with immediate effect)

Interference with badger setts and exclusion of badgers from their setts and closure/destruction of setts.

A minor change has been made to the Class Licence (with immediate effect).

Condition 8 has been modified requiring a brief method statement to be submitted as part of the site registration.

It is hoped that this will reduce potential delays in the assessments cause by requests for further information.

Registered users are advised to read through the amended licence (version April 2020 available on Huddle) to remind themselves of the conditions and the limits of its use.

Changes to Water Vole Class licence WML-CL31 (with immediate effect)

Intentional disturbance of water voles and damage or destruction of water vole burrows by means of ‘Displacement’ (To facilitate development activities).

As part of an ongoing review into the effectiveness of the technique of displacement of water voles, some minor changes have been incorporated into the Class Licence (with immediate effect).

Condition 17 has been modified so that a destructive search is not required in sections of the bank that will be unaffected by the works and where burrows can be retained.

Condition 19 is a new condition, in line with The Water Vole Mitigation Handbook, requiring works to commence within 5 days of completion of the destructive search or additional measure be carried to deter water voles from returning to the area.

Condition 22 as part of the recording and reporting requirement, it is now a condition that monitoring form MON-CL31 must be completed and submitted along with the report form.

Registered users are advised to read through the amended licence to remind themselves of the conditions and the limits of its use.


If you have any questions on licence charges, please contact the project team at