Greylag geese and the moonlit sky ©Lorne Gill. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Licensing news

Read seasonal updates on species licensing and hear about new best practice guidelines and application requirements.

Get the latest news about Scottish Natural Heritage licensing – from details of new application requirements to seasonal updates on species licensing.

Badger Ecologist Licence

We have completed a review of our 'Badger Ecologist' licence trial and we are now rolling this new licence type out to anyone who meets the criteria.  'Badger Ecologist' licences can be issued to permit works with low conservation impacts to go ahead (if certain criteria are met) for the purposes of development, preventing serious damage, forestry and agricultural operations.

If you are an experienced badger ecologist in Scotland and you would like to apply for the Badger Ecologist licence please read the Badger Ecologist licence - an ecologist's guide to check you meet the criteria and for information on how to apply.

General Licence 14/2020 for stoat trapping published

As of 1 April 2020 anyone wishing to trap stoats in for the conservation of wild birds or for the prevention of serious damage will need to do so under our new General Licence 14.  See our Stoats - licence forms and guidance page for further information.

Covid-19 Update

SNH Licensing team are experiencing an extremely high work load.  Due to the current situation with regards to Covid-19, we will be prioritising licence applications based on their purpose.  As such, licence applications for preserving public health and safety and licence applications for preventing serious damage will be prioritised. Licence applications for other purposes will be considered lower priority.  It's likely it will take longer than usual for licences to be processed, so all works should be planned accordingly. 

If you currently hold a licence and think you will require an amendment to extend the licence expiry date due to work delays, we will only amend the licence if it is due to expire within the next 4 weeks.  For licences that expire outwith this 4 week period, please delay requesting an amendment until the licence is due to expire within 4 weeks.

For further information about Covid-19 and SNH, see our Coronavirus/Covid-19 section.

General Licences for Birds for 2020 (from 1st April) published

The General Licences for Birds for 2020 (from 1st April) have been published on our website.  GL 04 for air safety no longer exists, and the General Licences for 1st April onwards have been re-numbered to reflect this.

Trap registration and use of meat baits

As of 1st April 2020 SNH Licensing will be taking over Trap Registration from Police Scotland.  In order to use traps under our General Licences you will be required to register with us.  Please see our Trap Registration page for further information.

Updated process for gull licence applications

Since gulls will be removed from the General Licences from 1st April 2020, we have updated the process for applying for gull licences.  See information for gulls and public health and safety and air safety, and information for gulls and preventing serious damage.

Updated fish-eating bird licence application form and guidance document

The SNH Licensing team has published an updated licence application form for fish-eating birds along with an updated guidance document to help applicants fill in the application form and provide us with the required supporting information.  It is hoped that this will make the application process simpler for applicants.  The documents can be found on our Birds - Licence forms and guidance documents (preventing serious damage, preserving public health and safety & air safety) web page.


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team

01463 725364

[email protected]