Natterjack Toad licensing
The Natterjack is protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, known as the ‘Habitats Regulations’, because it has declined throughout Europe in recent decades. This information is focused on Natterjack licensing in Wales and is not a comprehensive review of the ecology or the law relating to Natterjacks.
Natterjack toads can be affected by a range of activities including pond management, footpath work, grass cutting, scrub clearance and development.
Under the Habitats Regulations, it is an offence if you:
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill any wild animal of an EPS
- Deliberately disturb wild animals of any such species
- Deliberately take or destroy the eggs of such an animal, or
- Damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of such an animal
Disturbance includes, but is not limited to, any disturbance which is likely:
- to impair their ability –
- To survive, to breed or reproduce, or to rear or nurture their young, or
- In the case of animals of a hibernating or migratory species, to hibernate or migrate; or
- To affect significantly the local distribution or abundance of the species to which they belong
Defra and the Welsh Government will publish a joint guidance document on the interpretation of the offences relating to disturbance, and to damage and destruction of breeding sites and resting places.
Natural Resources Wales issues licences under Regulation 55 of the Habitats Regulations to allow you to work within the law. We issue them for specific purposes stated in the Regulations, if the following three tests are met:
- The purpose of the work meets one of those listed in the Habitats Regulations (see below)
- That there is no satisfactory alternative
- That the action authorised will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status (FCS) in their natural range
The Habitats Regulations permits licences to be issued for a specific set of purposes including:
- Include preserving public health or public safety or other imperative reasons of over-riding public interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment
- Scientific and educational purposes
- Ringing or marking
- Conserving wild animals
Scientific or Educational
You will need a licence to take or disturb a natterjack, or damage or obstruct access to a breeding or resting place, in order to carry out any kind of research or detailed survey. For more information on survey licences, see ‘Schedule 5 and 6 application form’. We can also issue licences for ringing or marking.
If you would like to undertake management or restoration of dune ponds with natterjacks for their own benefit, you will usually need a conservation licence.
When you can apply for a licence
You may be asked to submit an ecological compliance audit form if you're proposing a large development scheme, or a scheme that has a higher risk for protected species. These requirements will be a condition of your licence.
Apply for a protected species licence
If you cannot avoid disturbing protected species, or damaging their breeding sites and resting places, you can apply for a licence for a range of different activities:
- development, infrastructure, or maintenance work
- survey or conservation work
- woodland management work
- possess, transport, sell or exchange live or dead species
You can contact us for help at any time before or during your licence application.