General Licences in Wales

Wood Pigeon Flock

The GWCT Wales team are in regular contact with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), providing scientific evidence and discussing the practicalities of the General Licence situation. We are asking our members and others to submit their own examples of jackdaw and rook predation and rook and woodpigeon crop damage to us. Your responses will help and support our position in retaining species currently listed for control on the licences. You can do so by leaving a comment below or emailing mgoodall@gwct.org.uk

The current NRW position is: “NRW wants to make sure that our licencing system is robust and proportionate, carefully balancing the needs of wildlife and people. Following legal advice, we are carrying out a systematic review of the evidence base, and this may mean changes in the way we issue some of our General Licences. Our new procedures and licences will come to effect in mid-August and we will liaise with stakeholders in advance of any changes.”


General Licence

at 17:35 on 12/09/2019 by robert dadd

Following the debacle of the general licence this is the first year I did not control crows and magpies around our outbuildings.We lost the majority of our swallows nest to predation. I am in despair with the attitude of some of the people supposedly entrusted with our conservation policies

Culling of crows, magpies and Jays.

at 12:00 on 11/09/2019 by Peter Harrison

My wife and I have owned a smallholding, outside Carmarthen for the past 5 years and we have witnessed the effect that Crows, magpies and Jays have on the nests and young of our local songbird population. We have seen (on our smallholding) a year on year increase in the corvid population and the need to control their numbers to protect the declining songbird population is of vital importance. I don’t believe the politicians who seek to take away the small amount of protection available to our songbirds understand the consequences of their actions.


at 6:38 on 11/09/2019 by Martin Powell

I have never seen so many Magpies around as this year and it would appear to the detriment of other species. The garden has been devoid of other birds.

General Licence

at 22:31 on 10/09/2019 by John Evans

I have lived and worked in the Welsh countryside all my life. For the best part of 60years I have actively been involved in pest control and regularly witness the damage done to livestock and crops. Any further restriction of the general licence would be a travesty and the long term harm it would do amoungst the songbird and wader population would be catastrophic.

General Licence

at 17:18 on 10/09/2019 by Gary Bowes

There is no need to repair something that is not broken.For many years the existing general licence has done the job of keeping the numbers of preditors in check.The numbers of crows ,magpies and wood pigeon grow year on year and song bird numbers and other species are dropping.Please NRW think very seriously before bringing in new laws without scientific evidence and discussions with relivent organisations.This cannot be a one person decision.

Proposed change to General Licence

at 17:05 on 10/09/2019 by Edward Jones

I have written to my A.M....Rhun ap Iorwerth...AM for Ynys Môn..drawing his attention to NRW's proposal and appended GWCT's article. I am concerned that thiscould be the thin edge of a hefty wedge based on blinkered evidence and NRW needs to remember that amber and red follow green and that there would probably be many more on the amber list were it not fir the current licence

general licence

at 14:52 on 10/09/2019 by M P BERRY

The songbird numbers have reduced and predator numbers have increased so reduced predation control can only have a derogatory effect on the songbird numbers which surely is not the aim of NRW. It might be useful to point out nature is it not ours to do with as we please but to preserve for those who follow. Unless NRW can provide absolute evidence that the general licence requires to be changed then it is taking a gamble with something they cannot replace and if that is the case then the identity of those who make the decision should be published so they can be held responsible for their actions and brought to account when things go wrong, Which it surely will if then insist on meddling without proper scientific evidence

Crows and Magpies

at 14:34 on 10/09/2019 by David Soutter

I own large gardens and have for years fed on a regular basis many spices of birds from sparrows and blue tits, thrushes blackbirds great tits a variety of finches woodpeckers as well as wood pigeons jackdaws and even collared doves. However in the past two years the magpie population has increased dramatically and this spring alone they devastated three possibly four black bird nests and our only two thrush nests. I now control them in the only way I can by having them shot. In the last week at anyone time I have counted 16 plus magpies in my gardens at the same time. They have to be controlled.

Proposed NRW changes to General License 004

at 13:28 on 10/09/2019 by John Cuddy

The proposal to allow the significant loss of songbirds until the reach the critical level of “conserving red or amber listed birds of conservation concern” appears to lack the common sense of conservation. Surely it is best to conserve the dwindling numbers that exist today, than to realize the change was in error and have to assist the inevitable lower population. This is only a proposal to create harm and loss.

General Licence in Wales

at 11:27 on 10/09/2019 by Cleeve

It is absolutely essential that the culling of crows and magpies can continue. As a manager of an SSSI site in Monmouthshire it is essential to keep these birds under some control. Crow numbers are increasing at an alarming rate even with culling as birds migrate in from uncontrolled farms and have a very negative effect on songbirds predating many nests. Magpies are equally to blame. It will be very serious if control cannot be implemented when necessary.

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