The GWCT welcomes the arrival of Defra’s new General Licences, which are similar to the ones revoked by Natural England on 25th April. They may not be perfect, but it is clear they have carefully considered the 4,000 consultation responses which provided them with the information they needed to reach this stage. As ever, they are not exactly the same and those who use them must carefully review the licence conditions. One noticeable change is the restrictions around protected sites such as Special Protection Areas (SPA).
Defra are undertaking a wider review over the coming months to improve them further and the GWCT will continue to work closely with Defra to share our science to ensure those that manage our countryside have the right tools to do the job. In particular we are committed to ensuring wildlife managers working over protected sites have the ability to undertake effective control using these licences to prevent serious damage and to conserve flora and fauna.
You can read the press release we issued jointly with other organisations here.