General Licences for 2020


Following last year’s General Licence fiasco, Defra are now reviewing when people will and won’t be allowed to control pest species in England in 2020.

We are taking action now

We're asking if you will help fund our challenging programme of work to ensure that those in charge listen not only to the science, but also the reality on the ground. You understand that if we want our countryside to thrive, it must be managed. We can’t sit back and hope nature looks after curlew and lapwing, or produces enough crops to feed our growing population.

The GWCT has always championed scientific research as the way to inform those putting conservation into practice. Our studies have helped to improve the nation’s understanding of all aspects of land management.

Donate Now >

Evidence-based policy

Wild Justice - the campaign group who brought about the General Licence situation earlier this year - are asking the public to fund more legal challenges. Surely any true conservationist would want to keep every tool available to help red-listed species to thrive. Sometimes it feels as if the people making the most noise about conservation are those not willing to get their hands dirty and make a real difference. 

“Our farm is paid a considerable amount of money by Natural England to provide habitat for struggling species. Without easy access to legal predator control this public money runs the risk of being wasted and vulnerable species pressured to local extinction.”
GWCT member response to the General Licence consultation

With your support, we will:

Correct misleading claims in the media

There are many claims about shooting and game management in the press that simply don’t match up with reality. Wherever those claims come from, we will research and refute them to ensure the debate is led by truth and not speculation. We must be prepared to provide balanced evidence on effective wildlife management when its legitimacy is challenged.

When the Labour Party made inaccurate claims about moorland management earlier this year, we were the first to respond. We have done the same for claims about mountain hares, predator control and the impact of shooting and will continue to do so. 

Donate Now >

Brief civil servants, the press and the public
The regulating authorities need robust, dependable evidence on which to base their policy decisions. Very often the GWCT alone is able to provide it. Our work doesn’t stop there - we are using all available methods to get the message out far and wide.

While the licences were revoked, we visited Roy Burrows, whose Nidderdale estate boasts not only lapwing, but curlew, oystercatcher and many more threatened species. He was deeply concerned what could be lost without the means to control predators.

He told us “If you think of how delicate these lapwing are, with us not being able to control corvids, if they’re left exposed and unprotected, jackdaws will just mop them up. We could take a big step back in one year.” Our video of his comments was watched by over 40,000 people online and shared across social media. We will keep getting the facts out.

Keep conducting important research
Our reputation is founded on over eighty years of scientific research into how the countryside is managed. We were the first organisation to study the impacts of predation, our studies are used as leading examples of what needs to be done to increase wader numbers and our farming research informs the agri-environment schemes.

Our research programme for the next year includes work on pheasant predation, curlew, heather burning and much more. Your donation makes it possible.

Your voice makes a difference. The thousands of farmers, gamekeepers, wardens, and conservationists working hard to give our threatened species a better chance of survival need to have the tools available to do so. You can help ensure that they don’t lose them for good.

Please donate to support this important work

By donating today, you can help us respond more quickly, more comprehensively and let our science and your experience work together to inform the debate. Please support this appeal however you can.