There are 18 species of bat in the UK with 17 known to breed here. Bats are often an issue during building developments as bats frequently utilise man-made structures such as buildings, bridges, barns and mines as natural roosting sites have been lost due to the changes in land use over hundreds of years.
Bats and their roosts are legally protected, whether bats are occupying their roosts or not. The major piece of legislation that affords protection to bats in England is the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010). Under this legislation it is an offence to: Deliberately kill, injure, disturb or capture a bat, damage or destroy a roost, or possess, control, transport or sell any live or dead bat.
In addition, in England & Wales, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) makes it an offence to: intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat at a roost, intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a roost.
Local planning authorities are obligated by law (Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act (2006) to ensure that protected species have been fully considered before making a decision to grant planning permission.
To ensure bats are fully considered prior to submitting a planning application Green Ecology can carry out a preliminary ecological appraisal of the site. This gives an early indication whether bats are likely to be present and highlight the need for further surveys. Timing is key and the earlier bats are considered during the development process the better to avoid costly delays at the planning application stages as bat surveys can only be conducted during their active period – between April and September.
Should it be deemed necessary to conduct further bat surveys, Green Ecology have a team of bat experts including highly experience Natural England licensed surveyors on hand to undertake the surveys, mitigation and licensing that may be required in line with best practice guidance. We have the latest high tech survey equipment and keep abreast of new technologies available. Our bat capabilities include:
- Internal and external inspections of buildings and structures
- Legislation & policy advice
- Tree assessments for bat roost potential
- Roost surveys – emergence and re-entry surveys
- Roost characterisation
- Activity surveys – walked transects and automated remote surveys
- Analysis of bat calls to identify species
- DNA analysis of bat droppings
- Mitigation design
- Artificial roost design and creation
- Post-development monitoring surveys
Should the development be likely to affect a bat roost a European Protected Species Licence from Natural England, will be required to enable any works to proceed. Green Ecology can design and implement detailed and effective mitigation measures, prepare the method statement and licence application as well as supervise the implementation of the mitigation strategy.
Types of projects Green Ecology have experience in are:
- inspections of buildings and barns to be demolished or renovated
- inspections of trees from the ground, or using licensed tree climbers, or elevating platforms
- emergence and re-entry surveys of man-made structures such as houses, barns, churches, bridges, quarries
- emergence and re-entry surveys of trees
- activity surveys
- static detector surveys
- assessment and surveys for affordable housing developments, large scale mixed use developments, wind turbine sites, solar farms, infrastructure.
For more information about bats and how we can deliver timely and cost effective solutions to your project please get in touch.
Bat in Building Survey
Bat in Trees Survey
Bat Winter Hibernation Survey