We continue to work hard on completing the technical assessments for these licence applications and have started issuing decisions to applicants. These include installing netting or wire over vulnerable roosting areas, keeping food storage and waste facility areas secure and discouraging deliberate feeding of birds by the public. They’ve always rebounded quickly, but not so lately. Data shows herring gull declines of 77% since 1986 while lesser black-backed gulls… Over their two centuries of history in coastal New England, gulls have declined previously because of natural predation, environmental stressors, and a robust feather-poaching effort to supply the Victorian hat industry. Natural England said the gull population was in decline. Natural England has today released details of the new arrangements to allow pest professionals to use lethal controls to manage herring and lesser black-backed gulls in England. This blog gives an insight into our work. Natural England Chair, Tony Juniper’s Letter to Secretary of State (PDF, 89.6KB, 3 pages), Attached Tony Juniper's letter to the Secretary of State. Control of wild birds Fill in form A08 to apply for this licence. Continued activity at these levels is likely to have a harmful impact on the population levels of both species. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. Natural England issues licences for taking peregrine falcons from the wild for falconry, Coronavirus – Guidance on implications for Natural England’s development management advice and wildlife licensing. The scale of lethal control of these gulls that has been applied for is considerably greater than the levels of lethal control which Natural England has concluded are ecologically acceptable for these species. Further guidance to inform potential applicants for licences to control lesser black back gulls or herring gulls is available here. Rare, vulnerable birds and young livestock have been hammered this spring by crows, rooks, gulls and other predators because the wildlife licensing authority, Natural England, has granted only 6% of licence applications made by gamekeepers and farmers to control predatory birds on many of England's most precious wildlife sites. It must also ensure that the licences it issues do not adversely affect the conservation objectives of statutory protected sites. The European herring gull (Larus argentatus) is a large gull, up to 66 cm (26 in) long.One of the best-known of all gulls along the shores of Western Europe, it was once abundant. Natural England has today [Thursday 30 January] set out changes to licences for the lethal control of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls in England to protect these declining species. We have to date received almost 1000 applications, around three quarters of which arrived with us in March, many of these after the gull application deadline of 15 March. 153.3K Followers, 1.7K Following. Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls are the predominant gulls in the Norwalk area. Natural England will decide whether to issue a licence within 30 working days of receiving your application. We have also been working with stakeholder groups to test that the conditions in the licences, for example on avoiding disturbance to other protect species such as raptors, will be clear and workable for users. Natural England will consider the strength of need in each licence application individually but generally protecting human life and health will be the overriding priority. It is best to avoid widespread feeding of gulls where problems could result. I recognise it will be challenging for those who want to carry out control measures that were previously covered by the general licence, but we must abide by the law that is in place to protect bird populations. Marian Spain, Interim Chief Executive of Natural England, said: Populations of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls have declined significantly in recent years and it’s essential that we do all we can to reverse this worrying trend. This is because we must undertake an assessment of cumulative impacts on conservation status before we issue these licences. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. And that in the case of Abbeystead, the gull colony forms part of the wildlife interest of the larger site. Natural England issued individual licences in 2019 for control of these gull species. A significant number of these applications did not include all the required information and have taken additional time to go back to applicants to ask for this necessary information. Natural England will continue to accept licence applications outside this period and will issue licences where there is an imperative need. You’ve accepted all cookies. Any control undertaken under other purposes such as preventing serious damage and conserving wild birds and flora or fauna will need to be targeted. Anyway, New England features several common gulls that may be easily found. Natural England must ensure that the licences it issues will not be detrimental for the conservation status of protected species. We're here to establish thriving #nature for people and planet by building partnerships for nature’s recovery. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated, Wildlife, animals, biodiversity and ecosystems, Further guidance to inform potential applicants for licences to control lesser black back gulls or herring gulls is available here, Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support, Transparency and freedom of information releases. Beyond this, Natural England will license gull control through individual licences, which will need to be prioritised. The population just keeps thinning. Natural England have today released details of new licensing arrangements for herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. I sincerely appreciate your patience as the issuing of decisions as this new licensing process gets under way. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details. The scale of lethal control of these gulls that has been applied for is considerably greater than the levels of lethal control which Natural England has concluded are ecologically acceptable for these species. Natural England has today [Thursday 30 January] set out changes to licences for the lethal control of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls in England to protect these declining species. For example, Natural England approved 'very few' individual conservation licence applications for rural herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls (note the reference to 'rural' gulls). Natural England will issue licences where there is enough evidence and information in applications for us to conclude that: Many applicants will want to urgently act upon their licences, especially now that the bird breeding season is upon us, and I want to thank them for their patience. For the named gull species in particular, we need to ensure there is adequate information on large numbers of applications, and then assess them together. The purpose of this blog is to update applicants on the progress of applications to control gulls on their land or for control of birds on or close to protected sites. Unlike other deterrents that gulls may get used to, a bird of prey will always be a threat. Assessment carried out by Natural England has since indicated that the scale of activity carried out under licences in recent years is above a sustainable level. England scale Habitats Regulations Assessment for all herring gull and lesser black-backed gull individual licences in 2020 - ver 0.6 29 April 2020 This record was published by Natural England on 5 May 2020. However, Natural England must comply with the legal requirements outlined above and applications will be rejected if they do not meet the required criteria. Natural England is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Additional technical details follow below: These gulls were removed from general licenses due to a decline in nesting populations. Natural England has today released details of the new arrangements to allow pest professionals to use lethal controls to manage herring and lesser black-backed gulls in England. Natural England has now started issuing decisions in relation to applications for individual bird control licences for those circumstances which are not covered by the General Licences issued by Defra in January. The most common gull on a beach depends on exactly where you are in New England. Shooting of gulls has been banned under new licences issued by Defra after a challenge by Chris Packham's wildlife group. Tony Juniper – A tree-pronged approach to restoring Nature. We have brought more people into the licensing team to increase our capacity to address this unexpected additional workload. Dave Slater, Natural England’s Director for wildlife licensing provides an update on licences for control of lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls and of birds on or close to protected sites. For this reason, it is necessary to scale back the lethal control of these gull species. Our research indicates that the breeding population of herring gull, a red listed species, has fallen by 60 per cent since the 1980s, with amber listed lesser black-backed gulls declining by an estimated 48 per cent. The breeding population of herring gull has fallen by 60% in recent decades, with lesser black-backed gulls declining by an estimated 48%. We will be able to see just how few 'very few' means when the data is published. In addition, where any applications are on protected sites, such as Special Protection Areas (SPAs), we need to ensure that we have the information we need in order to be certain there will be no adverse effects on those sites. The stereotypical gull. We are working with Defra to explore options for filling current gaps in evidence around urban gull populations, which would enable us to refine our licensing approach in future. Gulls see a large bird of prey as a threat, so as soon as they take to the skies, they scatter. the action to be licensed is proportionate to the problem or need. Today Natural England has announced a new licensing system for the culling of Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls – and it’s pretty good.. You can apply to Natural England for a licence to cull gulls, but you’ve got to come up with some good reasons to do this.” This could include gulls nesting at airports, for instance. In rural areas, where populations overall are known to be in decline, Natural England will set upper ‘safe’ number of birds that could be killed. In these cases, Natural England will contact applicants if any further information is required in order for Natural England to assess the application. Gulls' Decline Is "Worrying Trend," Says Natural England Today I note with interest that Natural England have modified the licensing criteria for two species of endangered gulls. This period will enable Natural England to assess the cumulative scale of control across the applications submitted and take this into account in prioritising the licences to be granted. Often dubbed ‘flying rats’ because they gorge on garbage, gulls are protected by Natural England — a public body sponsored by the government — … Control levels of nests, eggs and chicks will not be limited in urban areas, where populations are thought to have better breeding success rates. We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV.UK. By Dave Slater, Natural England’s Director for wildlife licensing. Natural England is waking up to the shambolic state of knowledge amongst those seeking licences for lethal killing of birds under new licensing regimes. Meanwhile we are working with Defra to explore options for filling current gaps in evidence around urban gull populations, so we can continue to make decisions in the best interests of people and wildlife. Herring gull. Natural England have quite rightly noticed, maybe with the help of their new Chair, Tony Juniper, who is a good naturalist, that gulls are wildlife too. The new A08 licence allows the holder to kill,Read More Natural England licensed cull of tens of thousands of lesser black-backed gulls on one of England's largest shooting estates. there is a genuine problem to resolve or need to satisfy for which a statutory licensing purpose applies; there are no satisfactory alternatives, including that non-lethal solutions have been tried and/or shown to be ineffective; the licensed action will contribute to resolving the problem or meeting the need; and. We have issued a class licence to permit any wild bird control necessary to preserve air safety which covers herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. This is because of strong evidence of serious population decline in these two species. You may remember that last year these two gull species were removed from general licences in England because of concerns about what impact the unregulated control could be having on their conservation status. “For the last two years, we have not been given licences to control the crows, magpies and gulls on SSSI moorland,” says grouse shooter and moorland conservationist George Winn Darley. These photos and videos, collected by… conservation status for herring gulls is red, and for lesser black-backed gulls the status is amber. Upper ‘safe’ levels have not been identified for lethal control in urban populations of gulls, as these are faring better. Read the full press release here. Natural England said gulls could only be culled as part of wider measures and only as a last resort. Anyone intending to control these species to protect public health and safety must apply for an individual licence, A08. Some local authorities are considering by-laws to prevent the feeding of gulls in certain areas. Natural England has today announced its new arrangements for the licencing of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. Natural England has turned down gull licences on moorland, too. However, Natural England will continue to promote the use of non-lethal methods through integrated management strategies that reduce opportunities for gulls to nest and scavenge in problem areas within the built environment. In more rural areas, where lethal control may have contributed to declining populations, we have established a sustainable number of birds that could be killed or taken - equivalent to no more than 5% of the natural mortality total of each species - without harming their conservation status. Further information on our gull licences can be found here. We have also made available a Q&A which can be viewed here. See tweets, replies, photos and videos from @NaturalEngland Twitter profile. Anyone intending to control these species to protect public health and safety must apply for an individual licence, A08. Natural England Releases New Licences for Use Against Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls Licence A08 Natural England has released the new Licence A08, to control the lesser black-backed gull or herring gull to prevent disease, damage or risk to public health and safety. The Moorland Association issued the following statement today in response to the announcement by Natural England of new arrangements for licensing the control of Herring Gulls (HG) and Lesser-Black-Backed Gulls (LBBG). Natural England, the government’s adviser on the natural environment, defends this change by saying the “breeding population of herring gulls has fallen by 60 percent in recent decades.” District level licensing for great crested newts – by numbers! These two species were removed from the general licences last year, and rightly so given that they are both declining in numbers. Read more about what we do Follow us The RSPB favours non-lethal solutions and believes gulls should be killed only as a last resort, especially since several species are of conservation concern. Since opening the new application process, we have received very high numbers of applications for control of the two gull species and for control of wild birds on protected sites. HS2’s Green Corridor prospectus – an important step towards ensuring the project delivers an environmental legacy, Tony Juniper – restoring Nature is providing (sustainable) food for thought. We understand that some applicants will be disappointed if they do not receive licences. Natural England must ensure that the licences it issues will not be detrimental for the conservation status of protected species. Feeding. This work has taken longer than we originally anticipated, for the reasons explained below. Herring Gulls are the large ones while Ring-billed Gulls are smaller and have a black ring around their bills. Two species removed from the 2019 General Licences Owing to their poor conservation status, herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls were not included in Defra’s general licences issued last year. They advise that applications should be submitted before 15th March 2020,… Bird management and licensing Birds - management and control Species Wildlife management and licensing Thousands of city dwellers have to live with the noise and mess of urban gull breeding colonies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. However, there are claims the data is out of date and does not apply to urban areas. Control of lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls Read the guidance attached to the Natural England page that tells you what to include in your application. People who need to carry out licensed activities will be encouraged to submit individual licence applications in February and March in preparation for the bird breeding season, which is consistent with the majority of user needs. https://naturalengland.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/21/update-on-licences-for-the-control-of-herring-gull-and-lesser-black-backed-gull/. From now on Herring gulls, together with Lesser black backed gulls, will be afforded a … Applications that have already been made will still be considered by Natural England. Natural England have told the council gulls could only be culled as part of wider measures and only as a last resort. Adults are told from most gulls by their large size, pale grey … We encourage potential applicants to refer to this information before submitting their applications. Natural England claims the grid references were for Skegness, not the King’s Lynn area. I hope that by prioritising the licences we issue, we can ensure that action is taken where it’s most needed while at the same time securing the long-term future of these important species. In January, we announced changes to licensing for lethal control of herring gull and lesser black-backed gulls, introducing individual licences for this purpose and a new application process for obtaining a licence. Marine protection sites: How did we get here and where do we go from here? Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone. We’re the government’s adviser for the natural environment, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy. I will provide updates on this blog as the process of decision-making progresses. ALMOST 1,000 applications have been lodged with Natural England by individuals and organisations seeking licences to cull two protected species - herring gull and lesser black-backed gull. 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