Naturenet: Schedule 2 Birds

Schedule 2 Birds

Schedule 2 Part I

Birds which are protected during the close season (1 February to 31 August) but which may be killed or taken outside this period.

Shooting, Hunting and Angling SeasonsPages marked with this symbol are exclusively written for Naturenet

  • Coot
  • Duck, tufted
  • Gadwall
  • Goldeneye
  • Goose, Canada
  • Goose, greylag
  • Goose, pink-footed
  • Goose, white-fronted (in England and Wales only)
  • Mallard
  • Moorhen
  • Pintail
  • Plover, golden
  • Pochard
  • Shoveler
  • Snipe, common: close season is 1 February to 11 August
  • Teal
  • Wigeon
  • Woodcock: close season 1 February to 30 September except in Scotland where 1 February to 31 August

Note on capercaillie
In 2001 an Amendment (Scotland) to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Scottish Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 337) moved capercaillie to Schedule 1 of the Act in Scotland and removed the species from Schedule 2. Capercaillie is only found in Scotland.

Schedule 2 Part II

Schedule 2 Part II used to list 13 so-called 'pest species' which could be killed or taken at all times. There is no longer any such a thing as a 'pest species' in law as this part of this Schedule was deleted from the Act in 1993 to be replaced by open General Licences.

These licences apply to everyone automatically - you don't need to get a licence, but you do need to be sure that what you are doing is covered by one of the existing licences.

Open general licences allow the taking of certain specified species by an authorised person (i.e. the landowner or someone with permission from the landowner) for the purposes of, for example, protecting agricultural interests from serious damage, to protect wild birds, to protect air safety or public health. There are various other purposes - see the page of current licences for the entire list. Note that there is no longer any right to kill any bird species under all circumstances - any control must be for one of the allowable reasons only.

These licences are issued annually by Natural England and are valid in England (similar arrangements apply in Scotland and Wales). All general licences are subject to certain conditions of use. Licences do not confer any right of access or right to take action to otherwise unauthorised persons.
Link to current general licences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981