Bat Survey

Bat surveys

Triggers for a Bat Survey

The following is a list of some of the main development activities which would likely trigger the need for a bat survey: building demolition, renovation, refurbishment, conversion, extension and re-roofing and tree felling/management.

Bat Survey and Mitigation

Many protected species surveys such as bat surveys are best carried out or can only be carried out at certain times of year (see our Ecological Surveys Timetable).

Bat scoping surveys can be carried out at any time of year, whilst bat dusk emergence/dawn re-entry surveys and bat transect/activity surveys can be carried out between May and September (i.e. during the bat active season and according to best practice guidelines). All our bat scoping surveys are carried out by professionally qualified, experienced and licensed bat ecologists. A licence is required to handle and disturb bats.

Bat scoping surveys involve searching the interior of a building for evidence of roosting bats, including droppings and feeding remains. Also, the exterior of the building is searched for features providing potential bat roosting habitat such as missing and slipped roofing tiles, raised lead flashing and missing mortar.

Bat dusk emergence surveys and bat dawn re-entry surveys involve ecologists using bat detectors at dusk to determine whether any roosting bats emerge from features identified during the bat scoping survey and record any general bat passes within the site.

Bat transect/activity surveys involve walking transects across the site and recording bat passes using bat detectors. This is carried out at dusk. The survey effort depends on the size of the site and quality of habitat. Remote monitoring is also carried out as part of the transect work. This involves leaving remote bat monitoring units on the site for a period of three consecutive nights per month during the active season (i.e. April to September) to record bat passes.

Bat roost potential surveys of trees involve searching a tree for features such as rot holes, flaking bark and dense ivy growth, which may provide potential bat roosting habitat. If such features are found, we will climb the tree (using specialist climbing equipment with specially trained personnel) to search the features with an endoscope.

If bats are found on the proposed development site we can provide the following:

  • Bat report for the planning application.
  • Legal compliance advice (including licensing).
  • Licence applications including European Protected Species mitigation licences.
  • Design mitigation measures to avoid/minimise the chances of harming bats on the site.
  • Design compensation and enhancement measures to provide long-term replacement bat roosting habitat on the development site.
  • Site management and monitoring.

EPS Bat Mitigation Licence

Licences in respect of European Protected Species affected by development can be granted under Section 53(3) (e) of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended), for the purpose of preserving public health or public safety or other imperative reasons of overriding public interest including those of social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment.

Under this legislation licences can only be issued if the statutory agency are satisfied that: (i) there is no satisfactory alternative and (ii) the action authorised will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species at a favourable conservation status in their natural range.

Our Experience

Udall-Martin Associates is a specialist ecological consultancy. Our ecology team has the skills and experience in carrying out bat surveys following standard methodologies and producing bat reports to accompany planning applications and documents for European Protected Species bat mitigation licences. We also design and implement bat mitigation and compensation measures on-site to satisfy both planning authorities and statutory nature conservation organisations.

We hold nature conservation statutory agencies bat survey licences and hold current Natural England and Natural Resources Wales  European Protected Species bat mitigation licences. We also have associate bat ecologists who are specially trained and qualified tree climbers, who can search trees for roosting bats. We keep abreast of new technology and use up-to-date equipment for all bat surveys including Anabat SD1, SD2 and Express, endoscopes and night-vision video cameras with infra-red flood lighting. We use Analook software to analyse bat data from our bat detectors.

Case Studies

We have carried out numerous bat surveys and carried out mitigation works for a wide variety of clients and projects including for school projects, large-scale building demolition and re-developments and residential developments. Examples of our previous projects can be found on our Projects Page.

Bat Legislation

All species of British bat and their roosts are protected under British law by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), and bats are classified as European Protected Species under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended). This makes it an offence to kill, injure or disturb a bat and to destroy any place used for rest or shelter by a bat (i.e. roost). Under this legislation development work that could affect a bat or bat roost can only be permitted under a licence from a nature conservation statutory agency.

Implications for Development

The implications for proposed development works are that any activities should not result in the death, injury or disturbance of individual bats should they occur on site or in the damage or destruction of bat roosts. Measures to provide for bats individual protection will need to be put in place if they are found to be present and the creation of replacement bat roosting habitat if bat roosts are lost or damaged.

The presence of a protected species such as bats on a proposed development site can be a major constraint to a project as some development activities may need to be licensed. To avoid possible costly delays to the development works programme and alterations to design plans we recommend protected species surveys such as bat surveys are carried out at the earliest opportunity.

Contact Us

If you suspect there are roosting bats present within your proposed development site and/or the type of development activities to be carried out would suggest that adverse impacts to roosting bats are possible, you will need to contact an ecological consultancy to provide specialist advice.  An appropriately licensed bat ecologist will need to undertake the initial bat scoping survey, as a survey licence is required to handle and disturb bats. One of our team of licensed bat ecologists could attend your development site and conduct an initial bat survey at the earliest opportunity.  Contact us now.

Udall-Martin Associates work throughout the UK and extensively in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire), East Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland), South West (Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset and Devon), South East (Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire) and throughout Wales.

Discuss your project with us by calling 01684 540695 and we will provide specialist advice and quotations. We are offer a quality service at competitive rates.