Licensing news

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

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

Licensing service update 

We will prioritise and aim to process urgent public health and safety and urgent prevention of serious damage licence applications as soon as possible.  For other non-urgent licence applications we have a current turnaround time of approximately 3 to 4 weeks.  Note this turnaround time is likely to increase during and after key holiday period.

To avoid any unnecessary delays we advise anyone looking to obtain a licence to submit their licence application at their earliest opportunity.

Our Licensing helpline (01463 725364) is currently only available for leaving voicemails, therefore if you have a general enquiry please refer to the relevant page on the licensing section of our website as it may take us some time to call you back. 

If you have a query which you can’t find the answer to online then email [email protected] in the first instance.  We will aim to respond to all email queries within 5 working days.  As our offices are currently closed please don’t send us any mail, instead, email all correspondence.

Species Licensing Review - Terms of Reference

The Species Licensing Review will focus on the procedures which NatureScot has in place for licensing lethal control, look at ways to improve openness and transparency and will explore the potential of charging for licensing.  Further details are provided in these Terms of Reference.

Deer authorisations and renewals – March 2024

Deer managers will now be able to apply for or renew a deer management authorisation online:

The new digital form is a key part of work to modernise deer management systems in Scotland and streamline previous manual processes.

Follow the progress of our online licensing system.

Licensing Data - March 2024

Data on the number of licences issued for 2023 is now live along with the number of licences issued for hunting with dogs between November 2023 and 29th February 2024.

Fit and competent - September 2023

Deer controllers can now apply online to join the fit and competent register or renew their status

The new digital form is part of a wider project to modernise NatureScot’s deer management services.

The online service is quicker and easier both for applicants and staff to use, allowing NatureScot to process applications more efficiently.

Planning Permissions and Consents - August 2023

A protected species licence application for development projects should not be made until the necessary planning permissions and consents are in place.  This should be considered when signing the relevant licence application declaration.


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]

Last updated: