Schedule 1 and other protected birds

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 BTO on behalf of the relevant Country Agency; licences for other activities are issued directly from Natural England or NatureScot.
  • In Wales, all licences are issued directly by Natural Resources Wales but ones for ringing and/or nest recording are applied for via BTO.

Background information about protected species, and BTO and the Country Agencies: 

Which species are protected?

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.

List of protected birds

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.

Obtain a disturbance licence or permit

Follow the links below for the country you are operating in to get a new licence/permit.


Northern IrelandIsle of ManRepublic of Ireland

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