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Licensing and wild plants and fungi

All wild plant species receive protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Some more rare or vulnerable species are given added protection under that Act by being listed on Schedule 8  PDF document .  Three Scottish plant species are classified as European protected species, Killarney fern, slender naiad and yellow marsh saxifrage. These plants are very localised in distribution so licensing situations for these species will be relatively rare.

Licences for survey, science, research or conservation

If you wish to carry out work on any plant species for survey, science, research, education or conservation purposes, and if that work might otherwise result in an offence being committed, you may need a licence.   Please email licensing@snh.gov.uk with:

  • your name, address, telephone number;
  • full details of your project/proposal including what you want to do, where you want to do it, who will be doing it and when you want to do it;
  • completed reference forms   Word document  (if this is the first time you have applied for a licence for this activity we will require two references from people who are familiar with your work in this area and who can vouch for your competence in carrying out this type of work).

Guidance note for field surveys and monitoring  PDF document

Accompanying notes for survey and monitoring licences   PDF document

Plant licensing for social, economic and environmental purposes

It is possible to licence activities that could affect Schedule 8  PDF document   plants for social, economic or environmental reasons. This could cover a range of activities including development. However, it is important to note that licences may only be issued for this purpose provided that:

  • the activity authorised by the licence will contribute to significant social, economic or environmental benefit;
  • there is no other satisfactory solution  PDF document (this is assessed in the same way that we assess European protected species licensing Test 2 - No satisfactory alternative).

Guidance for applicants  PDF document - on the licensing purpose for non-bird species protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for 'social, economic or environmental purposes'.

If Schedule 8  PDF document plant species are likely to be found in or close to the site in question then it is strongly recommended that you have a survey undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced person. If they are found then the surveyor should identify what impact the proposal might have on them and whether or not the proposed works could result in an offence.

If you wish to apply for a licence please email licensing@snh.gov.uk with:

  • your name, address, telephone number;
  • full details of your project/proposal including what you want to do, where you want to do it, who will be doing it and when you want to do it;
  • completed reference forms   Word document (if this is the first time you have applied for a licence for this activity we will require two references from people who are familiar with your work in this area and who can vouch for your competence in carrying out this type of work).

Licence returns

It is a condition of every licence that a return be submitted.   Please refer to your licence for the relevant return information required and send to licensing@snh.gov.uk  clearly stating your name and licence number in the subject.

Renewals and amendments

If you hold a licence which you wish to renew or you wish to amend your licence you can:

  • telephone 01463 725364 (please make sure you have your licence number to hand); or
  • email licensing@snh.gov.uk putting your licence number in the subject.

For further information or advice please email licensing@snh.gov.uk or telephone 01463 725364.



Last updated on Friday 18th March 2016 at 13:05 PM. Click here to comment on this page