All birds are protected in some form, but some species have additional protection during the breeding season as do their nests, eggs and dependent young. To disturb these you must obtain a special licence in advance. In England and Scotland, permits for ringing and/or nest recording are issued by the BTO on behalf of the relevant Country Agency; licences for other activities are issued directly from Natural England or Scottish Natural Heritage. In Wales, all licences are issued directly by Natural Resources Wales but ones for ringing and/or nest recording are applied for via the BTO.
For the BTO and the Country Agencies:
- Licensing is important to protect birds and volunteers and produce useful data
- The BTO are well placed to issue Schedule 1 permits due to our experience with running surveys using volunteers and handling large volumes of data.
- The value of Schedule 1 data can be maximised by the submission of nest records
- BTO is well-versed in handling sensitive data
The species that are protected vary between countries in Britain and Ireland as does the method of getting a licence or permit and the conditions that come with that permit/licence.
The BTO works closely with the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) to ensure all records are suitably used. Data on breeding birds obtained through the licensing process are reported to both the relevant country agencies and the Rare Breeding Birds Panel.
To obtain a disturbance licence or permit
Follow the links below for the country you are operating in to get a new licence/permit or to renew your existing one. If you are operating in more than one country you will need to report and renew each one separately.