Call for evidence to inform the review of NRW’s approach to regulating the shooting and trapping of wild birds in Wales

Closed 27 Jan 2021

Opened 2 Dec 2020


Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is undertaking a review of how we regulate the shooting and trapping of wild birds and the destruction of their eggs and nests.

All wild birds in Wales have legal protection. NRW has a number of powers under which we can authorise others to kill or take particular species of wild birds for certain purposes, for example in order to prevent serious damage to crops, livestock or fisheries, to protect public health or safety or to conserve other species of wildlife.

Our review is looking at how we exercise these powers and is made up of several projects or workstreams including:

  • Ensuring continuity of service for the delivery of wild bird control licensing while the review is being carried out;
  • Review of NRW’s approach to wild bird control licensing (general and specific licences), including in relation to the outcome of the current legal challenge to some of our general licences;
  • Review of NRW's approach to regulating the shooting or capture of wild birds on SSSIs;
  • Review of the impact on Welsh fisheries by fish-eating birds to inform NRW’s approach to wild bird control licensing;
  • Review of NRW’s approach to the regulation of the use of cage traps for the control of wild birds.

More information about the review can be found HERE

To help inform our review we are encouraging anyone who has evidence relevant to the review to make it available to us. We are interested in evidence which can help us assess how well our current approaches are working, and which can help improve the way we carry out this role to deliver better outcomes for the environment and the people of Wales.

At this stage, we are looking for scientific or anecdotal evidence which we will use, along with other evidence sources including specialist evidence contracts, to carry out a comprehensive review of our approach.

This is not a consultation and therefore we are not looking for views or opinions at this stage. We are not currently proposing any changes to the way in which we license or provide advice on the shooting and trapping of birds or the destruction of eggs and nests. Following our review, any proposals to change the way in which we carry out these functions will be subject to public consultation in 2021, which will give everyone the opportunity to give us their opinions.

Who can submit evidence?

We welcome relevant evidence from any person or organisation.

What kinds of evidence is NRW looking for?

Through this call for evidence we are interested in evidence of the following types:

  • Peer reviewed scientific literature (particularly evidence syntheses and reviews);
  • Technical / research papers and reports;
  • Official publications, such as Government agency, research group or committee reports and working papers;
  • Questionnaires undertaken by membership organisations, including membership surveys if accompanied by details of methodology;
  • Anecdotal findings, if accompanied by material evidence such as video, photos or written records;
  • Expert opinion if accompanied by evidence of experience and/or professional standing.

We are not asking for the following:

  • Opinions which are not supported by evidence;
  • Ideas, concepts or proposals.

Please note that we cannot accept copies of any material which is subject to copyright restrictions if those restrictions would be breached by you providing us with the material. Please check the copyright status of any documents before sending them to us. If in doubt and if information has been published, it may be preferable to send us only the reference or web link (URL).

We welcome evidence in English and/or Welsh but we may not be able to use evidence provided in other languages. If you have relevant evidence in a language other than English or Welsh, please consider whether you could get it or a summary of it translated, before sending it to us.


Should I send you evidence I have provided in response to other related calls for evidence?

We already have access to the information provided in response to the following calls for evidence:

  • Defra’s call for evidence on the use of general licences to control wild birds (May 2019):

If you submitted evidence in response to either of the above, you do not need to resend that same information to us. However, the scope of this review is different, so you may have relevant evidence that you have not already provided. You may also have submitted evidence in response to other recent surveys or calls for evidence carried out by a number of other organisations which will be helpful to our review, particularly if it is relevant to and/or specific to Wales. If in doubt, please send us evidence which you think may be relevant to the questions we are asking.

How to respond

  • Using this consultation hub: This is the best way to respond - start by clicking on the link below which will take you to the questions. If you wish to send us any documents, please email or post them to us at the addresses below. If emailing or sending any documents, please make sure to clearly state your unique response ID number which you will receive automatically after submitting your online response. This is so that we can link your online response with any documents you send us.
  • By email or post: If you don't wish to use the consultation hub, you can submit evidence by email to:, or by post to: Wild Bird Review Call for Evidence, Natural Resources Wales, Maes y Ffynnon, Bangor LL57 2DWIf responding by email or post rather than online, we encourage you to read the questions on the online form, to ensure that any evidence you send is relevant. Please include your name, organisation (if applicable) and a means for us to contact you if required. 

How your evidence will be used

Please note that in the interests of transparency and openness all responses to this call for evidence, including the names of respondents (but not their private contact details) and reports or documents provided to us, may be shared with other organisations or made publicly available, and may be published on the NRW website, subject to copyright requirements. 

Information provided in response to this call for evidence may also be subject to release to the public or other parties in accordance with access to information law (these are primarily the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you want your response kept confidential, please tell us clearly what information you would like to be kept confidential and why. If responding using the online consultation hub, please include this in your answer to Question 19 (the last question). We need to balance requests for confidentiality against our obligations for disclosure. If we receive a request for your name or any evidence provided to be kept confidential, we will take full account of your reasons for requesting confidentiality, but we cannot guarantee that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances.

Privacy and data protection information

Read NRW's privacy policy.

What happens next

This call for evidence is now closed. We will consider all the responses we have received, and we will take all relevant evidence into account as part of our review. Our proposals will be also subject to a public consultation in 2021. In the meantime more information about the review can be found on our website.


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