The Wildlife Trust’s position on Natural England’s granting of licences to cull ravens.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are concerned to hear that Natural England have granted licences to farmers allowing them to shoot ravens in five English counties.

Natural England have granted licences to farmers allowing them to shoot ravens in five English counties – Derbyshire, Lancashire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. Ravens are a protected species and have long appeared in myths and legends, from Aesop’s fables to Native American folklore and their intelligence is comparable only to our own and our fellow apes. After centuries of persecution, populations of this majestic bird are recovering.

"We believe that the culling of any animal should always be a last resort after every appropriate alternative has been explored."
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

We are concerned that we were not aware that Natural England were considering licences and we also have concerns about the evidence base used to guide licensing decisions.  Without transparency, we won’t know the impact this decision will have on the population of a protected species – which is of great concern both now and in the future.

"We are extremely concerned to hear that Natural England have granted licenses to shoot ravens in Derbyshire. We were not aware this was being considered & we strongly question the evidence base used to justify culling these majestic & highly intelligent birds."
Dr Jo Smith CEO Derbyshire Wildlife Trust