Licence - Badgers - Standard forestry operations
Standard Forestry Operations Licence 2021
What does this licence cover?
This licence is granted under Section 10(i) of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 to permit disturbance of badgers in setts between 1st July and 30th November of the permitted year for the purpose of undertaking standard forestry operations within 20 metres of badger setts.
Standard forestry operations are felling and harvesting operations. This licence permits these actions within 20 metres of sett entrances providing that no vehicular access or heavy machinery is used within this area and that all conditions on this licence are adhered to.
What this licence does not cover
This licence does not cover the following activities within 20 metres of badger setts;
- Works before 1st July or after 30th November of the permitted year
- Works using protection zones of less than 20 metres
- Non-felling/harvesting operations such as road or track building, quarrying, blasting etc.
- Exclusion or destruction of badger setts.
- For other types of works which may result in the interference of a badger sett, you will have to apply to NatureScot for a specific licence.
Failure to abide by any one of the conditions presented in this licence may be an offence, invalidate the licence or lead to prosecution.
- It is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that they have read and understood the terms and conditions of the licence before carrying out any activities permitted by it.
- The licence holder may appoint persons to work under the terms of this licence. The licence holder must ensure that all such persons including contractors, sub-contractors, forest workers and machine operatives are briefed on the presence of badgers, locations of setts, the specific requirements of this licence and the conditions of this licence.
- A copy of this licence must be held on site with other key site documentation.
- This licence only permits works within 20 metres of the setts and sett entrances disclosed to NatureScot as part of the application.
- This licence can only be used if all other statutory permissions are in place.
- Protection zones must be set up around each sett. The protection zones must be clearly marked out on site and must extend at least 20 metres from each sett entrance.
- No vehicular access, including harvesting machines, is permitted within a protection zone (and therefore within 20 metres of any sett entrance).
- All sett entrances within the protection zone should be marked with canes, and preferably numbered. At the end of each working day all sett entrances and paths must be checked to ensure they are not blocked.
- All work within protection zones must be carried out between 9am and 5pm in any one working day.
- Trees within protection zones must be felled and extracted by hand (including the use of a chainsaw) or by a harvesting machine operating from outside of the protection zone. Timber must be processed and stacked outside of the protection zone.
- At the end of each day, as far as is reasonably possible, brash and other materials arising from the works must be cleared from protection zones by either reaching in with the harvesting machine (from outwith the protection zone) or by hand and stacked outside of protection zones without blocking any badger paths.
- All badger paths must be kept clear wherever reasonably possible.
- Trees must be felled away from any sett entrances as far as possible and in such a way so as to minimise the risk of tunnels or sett entrances being damaged. All tree-felling must be carried out in accordance with the document entitled: "Forest Practice Guide 9: Forest Operations and Badger Setts" (Forestry Commission, 1995).
- Fires are not permitted within 50 metres of any sett entrance.
- All reasonable precautions must be taken to ensure that disturbance is kept to a minimum and any works do not damage any part of a badger sett or injure or kill badgers.
- NatureScot reserves the right to accompany any person acting under the authority of this licence. NatureScot may contact the licence holder to provide us with information for compliance checking purposes. At least 10 days prior to us conducting a routine compliance check, we will contact the licence holder requesting the specific information we require in order to carry out the check. If the licence holder wishes to appoint a person to be contacted to provide this information and facilitate compliance checks, they can do so, so long as this has been agreed between the licence holder and the appointed person in advance.
- Within one month of works being completed, the licence holder must submit a completed badger SFO licence return form and send it to NatureScot via the postal address provided below or via email. Two photographs of each sett detailed in your application must be kept for your records, the first should show the sett entrance before works commenced, and a final photograph of the sett entrance after works have been completed. Returns information must include the dates on which the works were undertaken, whether the licence terms and conditions were met and the attachment of an example of your photographic records that show a sett entrance before and after works for one sett on site.
1. This licence only permits the activities specified within the licence details. It does not permit any other actions that would otherwise be illegal.
2. Nothing in this licence shall confer any right of entry on to land or property.
3. This licence is granted subject to compliance with the conditions as specified. Anything done otherwise than in accordance with the terms of this licence may constitute an offence.
4. This licence may be modified or revoked at any time by NatureScot.
5. No person convicted within the last five years of an offence to which this paragraph applies may use this licence unless, in respect of that offence, they are a rehabilitated person for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and their conviction is treated as spent. This paragraph applies to offences under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948, the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, the Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912 and the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 (all as amended).
6. In exceptional circumstances, the NatureScot Licensing Team may permit forestry works affecting badgers to continue up until 14th December of the permitted year, provided the conditions of this licence are still met. Justification must be provided for works over-running and there must be no satisfactory alternative. The licence holder must contact NatureScot Licensing as early as possible to discuss the standard forestry operations licence extension. Any further over-running of forestry works affecting badgers beyond 14th December will not be licensed.
1. A “badger” means any animal of the species Meles meles.
2. “Badger sett” means any structure or place which displays signs indicating current use by a badger.
3. “NatureScot” means Scottish Natural Heritage acting under its operating name NatureScot.
Great Glen House
If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.