DAVID FROST says: The general licence in question is WLF 18 which may be viewed at DEFRA and allows you, amongst other things, to shoot woodpigeon in order to prevent serious damage to crops.
The licence does not require the shooting to take place over any particular type of crop or land nor does it specify that the birds must be causing actual damage at the time they are being shot.
However, you do have to satisfy yourself that appropriate non-lethal methods of control such as scaring are either ineffective or impracticable.
If you think this sounds rather vague then I agree with you. On the whole vagueness in these matters is a good thing and if you are personally satisfied that non-lethal methods of control are impractical then go ahead – I do.
Got a question? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sporting Gun, PO Box 157, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 9FU