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New charges for wildlife mitigation licences will be phased in this year, starting on 1 April with dormouse licences, bat licences on 22 April, and other species licences following later in 2019.


The new licensing system will be operated by the Natural England Wildlife Licensing Service (NEWLS), which has been newly formed from staff of Natural England’s Wildlife Advisers.

The aim of charging changes are to:

  • improve the licensing service by enabling investment to match demand and
  • change the service funding from wholly taxpayer-funded to a mixture of taxpayer and service-user funding in line with Treasury and Cabinet Office principles for the funding of regulatory activity

The licence charges will differ between species and take into consideration whether the application is ‘non-complex’ (requiring less than five hours assessment) or ‘complex’ (requiring more than five hours assessment).

Under the changes a complex mitigation licence will involve a one-off compliance check cost of £183, plus the assessment fee, which is charged by the hour at £101 and calculated to the nearest 15 minutes.

Non-complex applications will involve a one-off cost which varies between species. For example:

Licence Non-complex application cost
A12-1 EPS mitigation licence:
other species
£690
A13 Bats mitigation £500
A14 Great Crested Newt mitigation   £700
A35-1 Hazel dormice mitigation £690

Note costs are correct as of 20/02/2019, check Defra for up to date charges.

More information about the results of the consultation and the full list of revised licence fees can be read on Defra’s Wildlife Licence Charges page, and by reading the Wildlife Licence Consultation Response Document.

For help in applying for a Natural England Mitigation Licence, contact us