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Bird licences - development and houses


Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), it is not possible to licence actions that would otherwise be an offence in relation to wild birds, for the purpose of development. 

Most developments are unlikely to result in the intentional or reckless killing of wild birds, but if they are carried out during the breeding season then there could be a risk of damage or destruction of nests or eggs, or disturbance to nesting Schedule 1  PDF document species of birds.

Because there is no development licensing purpose for wild birds, this means that any development that could result in these actions should not proceed until the breeding season is over for these species.

It should be noted that for certain species listed on Schedules 1A and A1  PDF document of the Act.  The nests of the species listed on both these schedules are protected all year round.  Birds of the species listed on Schedule 1A are also protected from harassment.

Birds and houses

Some birds, such as swallows and house-martins use buildings, including houses as nest sites.  For most people this is a rewarding experience, but in some cases and with some species of bird, problems can arise which may require a licence.

See our pages on bird licences and public health and safety

For further information or advice please contact or telephone 01463 725364.

Last updated on Thursday 25th February 2016 at 14:12 PM. Click here to comment on this page