Home Rules Legal Environment Wildlife › Managing Wildlife Animals on Your Land
Managing Wildlife Animals on Your Land

Some circumstances of managing wildlife on your land require wildlife licences. This guide lists contact details for the management of wild animals on land in the United Kingdom.

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UK: Why should we manage land for wildlife?

In short, wildlife needs to thrive and disperse throughout the landscape. It helps to ensure future generations will enjoy experiences with the natural heritage.

Fact: Some special areas for wildlife and animals are vanishing. They depend on organisations like The Wildlife Trusts’ network and other conservation groups.

These organisations help to protect isolated pockets of land. They also manage much larger areas for wildlife animals and for people.

The United Kingdom needs to retain its living landscapes. Managing wildlife on your land helps to restore the biodiversity of animal species. It reconnects areas of damaged or neglected habitats.

Managing Wildlife on UK Land

Land owners may need to get a wildlife licence to kill or cull certain animals. Wildlife licences also apply to the removal or disturbance of their habitats. This is because certain wild animal species have legal protection.

Note: As a rule you need a valid reason to get a wildlife licence. Creating a public health problem or attacking your farm crops may justify a licence to kill.

Wildlife Protection Laws

But, the wildlife protection laws differ in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Use this contact list to find the correct organisation in your area.

They will help you determine which animal species have protection. Each wildlife management team will inform you what action you can take – and what you cannot do.

Wildlife Management and Licensing at Natural England

Advice is available from Wildlife Management and Licensing at Natural England. They can help you deal with animals and birds on your land.

Managing Wildlife Animals on Your LandWildlife
Management and Licensing

[email protected]
0845 6014523
Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5pm

Note: You can report a suspected poisoning of an animal or bird to the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
0800 321600
Open 24 hours a day
Information on phone call charges.

Scottish Natural Heritage

Contact the Scottish Natural Heritage in Scotland. They will help you check your legal responsibilities for the protection of wildlife. They also have information on activities which may need a licence and how to apply.

Welsh Assembly Government

You should contact the Welsh Assembly Government for advice on managing wildlife. They also specialise in the management of badgers on your land in Wales.

Note: Often, ground moles cause damage to agricultural land. They can cause harm to plant growth or grass-cutting machinery. But, you can only control moles by trapping them or gassing them. The gas used must be aluminium phosphide.

Report any suspected animal or bird poisoning to the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
0800 321600
Open 24 hours a day

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Managing wildlife and animal biodiversity in Northern Ireland will require a licence to:

  • Remove bats from your building. The licence also applies to any disturbance to their habitat (e.g. for development work).
  • Kill certain bird species, move them, or take their eggs.
  • Keep or breed certain protected birds of prey.

Apply for a licence online at the Biodiversity Unit. It is part of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. They will also give advice on the use of rat poison on your land or guidance on photographing wildlife.

Biodiversity Unit
028 9056 9605
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Find out more about telephone charges.

Managing Wildlife Animals on Your Land in the United Kingdom