Shooting Times this week has revealed the significant costs that Natural Resources Wales (NRW) had to pay to defend Wild Justice’s failed judicial review on the legality of the general licences.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by the magazine shows the public body spending £145,000 on external legal advice. This does not include internal costs and staff hours spent on defending the judicial review.
On seeing the FOI response Steve Griffiths, BASC Wales director, said: “BASC stated from the start that this judicial review was an unnecessary diversion for NRW in a time of a national pandemic. Those funds could have gone towards tangible conservation efforts, improving Welsh biodiversity. Instead resources have been wasted with nothing to show.”
The FOI follows the news that the costs order, that Wild Justice were forced to pay, was capped at just £10,000 – the maximum allowed under the Aarhus Convention.