There are 18 species of bat in the UK, all of which are protected by law. Bats are found roosting in a variety of locations including caves, tunnels, trees, and houses in both rural and urban settings. Bats have specific requirements at different times of the year and may use many different roosts in one annual cycle. In addition to this, bats will use features such as hedgerows in the environment as commuting corridors, and small areas of good quality grassland, woodland or river banks as important foraging habitat.
All species of bat are fully protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. It is illegal to injure, kill, capture or disturb a bat. It is also illegal to damage, destroy or obstruct a bat roost, even if bats are not present.
Which Survey Do You Need
Our experienced, licenced ecologists can work with you to assist with your bat survey requirements. Bat Surveys take four forms:
- Day-time roost assessment: This is an initial survey which is often included as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or can be a stand-alone survey. A surveyor will assess potential for bats to be present within the building/tree by looking for suitable features. Any evidence of bats such as droppings, grease marks, urine splashes or feeding remains will be recorded. Should no suitable features be identified then no further survey work will be required.
- PRF Survey:This is an aerial survey carried out on trees which have been identified as potentially containing suitable features during a ground-level assessment. Often features which have been identified can be ruled out if deemed unsuitable by a climbed survey, reducing the need for further emergence surveys on site.
- Emergence Surveys: If the building/tree is considered to provide bat roost potential then dawn/dusk surveys will be required. Between 1 no. and 3 no. surveys will be required with the exact number dependent upon the findings of the Day-time roost assessment. Surveys can be undertaken between May-September (at least 1 no. visit should be carried out before the end of August).
- Bat Activity Surveys: If development proposals intend to remove habitat which could be important for foraging or commuting then bat activity surveys may be required. The number of surveys required will depend on the value of the habitat being removed and size of the site. Activity Surveys consist of a mixture of walked transects and automated surveys carried out between April and October.
- Mitigation: Although bats are legally protected, their presence does not mean that development cannot go ahead. With the correct mitigation procedures, timing of work and appropriate EPSM Licence, minimal effects on the development can be achieved. Our team of ecologists are experienced in applying for EPSM Licences and are dedicated to offering pragmatic solutions; working with you to achieve the best outcome.