Wildcats: licences for development

NatureScot may issue a licence to permit development works that might affect wildcats where impacts are unavoidable.

We are responsible for issuing licences to permit development that might affect wildcats. You should apply to us for a licence if your work could otherwise result in an offence in relation to wildcats.

A licence can only be granted if you can meet the three strict European protected species licensing tests.

How to apply

To apply for a licence to permit development, email [email protected].

You should include:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • full details of your project – covering what and who will be involved, and where and when
  • supporting information – e.g. details of any wildcat survey carried out and a species protection plan

Read the Guidance notes for application for a licence for European protected species

Read the Guidance notes on providing supporting information for a licence for European protected species

Survey and mitigation

We strongly recommend that a suitably experienced person conducts a wildcat survey if wildcats are likely to be found on or near to a development site.

Planning authorities must consider the same strict tests as the licensing authority when considering any planning application that might affect wildcats. A survey carried out in line with best practice and at an early stage can help to avoid unnecessary delays to licence and planning applications.

A species protection plan should be drawn up if wildcats or any signs of wildcat activity are found on or near a development site.

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.

Find out more

Data Protection notice

SGP - Scottish Wildcats - Development, Forestry and SRDP


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]

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