DEFRA is running a consultation into simplifying guidance for those whose activities are impacted by the Habitat and Wild Birds Directive in England.

This is the European legislative framework that protects the rarest and most threatened habitats and species, such as otters and wildcats. It also provides the legal basis for the licensing regime under which shooters control such species as woodpigeon and other pest birds.

The guidance under consultation also applies to Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas in which many shooting activities, notably wildfowling and grouse shooting, occur. DEFRA is hoping to create more straightforward guidelines for developers and land managers.

Apart from the Country Land and Business Association and the Moorlands Association, no stakeholder group representing shooters was included on DEFRA’s consultation list when the consultation was launched late last year.

The consultation ends on 5 February — to find out more, visit http://bit.lyU7TYIH