Brown Long-eard bat
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Bat Surveys

We have substantial experience of undertaking all types of bat surveys and assessments, including preliminay bat appraisals and dusk emergence and dawn re-entry surveys.

Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera, whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Bats require a roost, where they spend the day or hibernate, and also areas of suitable habitat so they can forage for food. Bat roosts can be found in cracks, crevices and hollows in trees or in roof spaces or other cavities in buildings, as well as caves or other underground structures.

Bat Legislation

In total there are 17 native species of in the UK. All individual bats and their resting places are legally protected under Regulation 41 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is an offence to intentionally to kill, injure or handle a bat, to possess a bat (whether live or dead), disturb a roosting bat, or sell or offer a bat for sale without a licence. It is also an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used by bats for shelter, whether they are present or not.

Bat Seasonal Constraints

Preliminary Bat Appraisal Surveys can generally be undertaken at any time of year, but are best conducted during the spring, autumn or winter. Dusk emergence and dawn re-entry surveys can only be conducted between May and August. Please click below to view our bat survey and mitigation calendar.

Bat Survey and Mitigation Calendar

Preliminary Bat Appraisals

The main objective of a Preliminary Bat Appraisal (sometimes also called an Initial Scoping Survey) is to assess the likelihood that bats may either be present on the proposed site, or may use the site for foraging or commuting. A Preliminay Bat Appraisal can generally be indertaken at any time of the year and are oftern carried out as part of the wider Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. For a building, the survey consists of a physical inspection of the internal and external elevations and any surrounding associated buildings. For a bat scoping survey for trees, a physical inspection of the structure and condition of the trees is undertaken, taking into account their age and species. Generally the value of the wider area is also assessed for any foraging or commuting potential. An assessment is then conducted based on the published guidance.

These surveys are usually required by Planning Authority where there is the risk that the project may affect buildings or trees that could support bats. In many cases where the likelihood of bats being present is assessed as negligible or low, no further survey work is required for the planning application to proceed.

Bat Dusk Emergence and Dawn Re-entry Survey

Where a Preliminary Appraisal, has identified that there is potential for bats to be present, it may be necessary to proceed and undertake a bat dusk emergence and/or dawn re-entry survey. These surveys involve monitoring for bat activity at dusk and dawn use by bats. The surveys are carried out on buildings or trees that have been found to have shown potential or signs of bat occupation during the initial assessments. The survey is undertaken on a number of occasions to enable sufficient information to be gathered, which is obtained by using appropriate bat detecting equipment. The data is then analysed and used to inform a survey report that will include suitable site specific recommendations.

Bat Mitigation

Where bats may be affected as a result of the proposed work, it is normally necessary for a Natural England development licence to be obtained, to legalise what would otherwise constitute a potentially illegal activity. We have access to a number of specialist bat ecologists who can assist in the preparation of the licence application to Natural England following receipt of planning permission.

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