Never needed a race licence before but intending on giving the SW series a proper go this year (just bought my first proper cross bike).
Do I need a full (expensive) licence, or will a provisional (cheap) one do?
Not 100% sure with how things work with cross. In MTB racing if you want to gain british cycling ranking points then you must have a full race license. If you are just in it to race locally then I believe you can still be apart of a regional series ranking without a license.
From what I can make out from the event website
"Please remember to present your British Cycling Membership card at sign-on, otherwise Sen, Jun, Vet and Lady competitors will be charged a £3 event surcharge."
This is just talking about BC membership £30ish not a full or provisional license. So I think effectivley they are just giving you a discount for being a member which if you do all rounds then the it almost pays your years membership.
Why not send them an email to confirm but I would place my bets on it being OK without. Personally though I am like to support BC so would go for one. Then if you are super rapid (or just love it) you can hit up some national races
Hope these rambling help. Hopefully see you there - I'll be towards the back and probably on an MTB!
You don't need a race license to race in a regional cross league, all you need is Silver BC Membership. You can use Bronze, but you need to pay a day license fee for each event.