Natural England’s specific general licences from 2019

Recap: Bob Berzins discovered that Natural England had issued what amounted to a general licence for conservation purposes after they had stopped issuing general licences for conservation purposes (sounds odd doesn’t it – see Bob’s guest blogs Natural England licences; a cover up? Part 1 and Natural England licences; a cover up? Part 2). And then I discovered that Bob’s discovery was one of 1156 such licences.

I asked Natural England some further questions and got their response today.

Wow! Natural England withdrew the general licences in very late April 2019 but had approved over 600 new, essentially general licences, by the 10 May. I think that is 12 working days between the general licences being withdrawn and 600 new specific licences (which were in effect general licences) being issued. 50 licences a day scrutinised carefully? That is breathtakingly…efficient?

Wow again! So most of the licences issued approved the killing of all five corvid species. Not much clamping down on issuing licences for conservation purposes for Rook, Jackdaw or Jay in evidence here. In fact, we don’t know whether there was any at all until we know what the recipients of licences asked for. It could be that just about everyone got exactly what they asked for after careful scrutiny, of course.

And here we learn that 1156 licences for conservation purposes were approved and only 235 were recorded as invalid (and up to 37 of them were resubmitted and perhaps issued).

And the number of licences issued for so-called conservation purposes at 1156 licences was almost twice the number issued to protect crops and livestock from serious damage in the same period; there were 636 of them (and another up to 337 were rejected).

Very interesting. I’ll come back to this nextweek.


6 Replies to “Natural England’s specific general licences from 2019”

  1. So they withdraw the general licences as illegal and issue a huge batch of specific licences with exactly the same presumably illegal conditions in 10 days. Criminal bastards this is outrageous.

  2. Apologies if you have already covered this and I have forgotten but how were 1156 applicants informed that they could obtain individual licences so that they could submit the applications in such a short time after the general licences were withdrawn?

  3. Hopefully wild justice will be taking a keen interest in this. It seems as if Natural England have basically stuck two fingers up at them and everyone who helped fund the legal challenge. I will continue to support wild justice even though it feels like I wasted my money in this case, obviously it’s NE that’s to blame not wild justice. If the legal challenge in Wales is successful let’s hope NRW doesn’t end up doing the same cowardly thing in response to pressure from powerful vested interests. Maybe a chance for the Welsh government to show they can set a positive example and that devolution works in delivering what the majority of the population wants.

  4. What an absolute disgrace Natural England are. They are suppose to protect our wildlife not issue hundreds of licenses to destroy it If they are being forced by this terrible Westminster Government to do all this then the leading persons in NE should resign “pronto” including Juniper. The organisation is very clearly not fit for purpose.

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