Information request to Natural England

The following information request has been sent to Natural England:

Dear Natural England.
I write to request information under the EIR/FoI regulations.
My request is in relation to individual licences issued by NE for the
purposes of killing bird species such as Carrion Crows, Jays etc.
My request is in response to information that has been obtained by Bob Berzins through EIR/FoI requests and through recourse to the Information Commissioner when NE were unforthcoming. See these two blogs by Bob Berzins, published on my website, which set out the situation as he understands it – Blog 1 and Blog 2.  Despite NE’s attempts, apparently, to cover up this state of affairs it appears that NE issued specific licences in 2019 that were so loosley worded that they were, in effect, general licences.  I’m assuming that this was an administrative error. We all make mistakes. But I am now interested in how big an administrative error this was, how it was corrected (if at all) and why NE has appeared to seek to cover up its mistake.

My questions are:

  • Would you like to comment on the events described by Bob Berzins?
  • how many licences similar to ‘licence 19020225’ were issued in England in 2019?
  • How many, if any, were revoked?
  • How many, if any, similar ‘general specific licences’ have been issued in 2020?
  • If any such licences were issued for 2020, have any been revoked?

many thanks


6 Replies to “Information request to Natural England”

  1. I wonder how many FoI requests sent to NE on this subject it would take before it just became more efficient for them to publish the licences publicly in the first place?

    1. Mark, Dave makes a good point here. I have never submitted a FOI request but am more than willing to start. Would it be advantageous if many of us were to write to NE separately? Or would it just piss them off to the point of clamming up completely?

      1. Paul – it might make you feel better, and them feel irritated. It would be unlawful for them to clam up. I wouldn’t recommend it in this case, mass FoI requests is a tactic to be used rarely.

  2. Presumably there is a requirement for these “individual licencees” to submit an annual return detailing what and where was actually killed under the licence? If so the simplest question would be How many were issued, and how many returns came back?

    If it was a requirement and no return then the licence was broken.

    1. Circus – having seen this specific general licence – no reporting requirement!

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