What is a Bat Survey?
What is a Bat Survey?
This is the season for Bat Activity! Our Ecology team are busy at the moment carrying out various types of Bat surveys.
Why are Bat Surveys necessary?
All bats are protected by law within the United Kingdom through the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). Therefore, Bats are required to be considered prior to the approval of planning.
Current bat protections laws make it illegal to:
- Intentionally or deliberately kill, injure or capture bats
- Deliberately disturb bats, whether at roost or not
- Damage, destroy or obstruct access to bat roosts
- Possess or transport a bat or any part of a bat, unless acquired legally
- Sell, barter or exchange bats, or any part of a bat
What happens if you have been asked for a Bat Survey?
If you are in the process of planning or if you have submitted a planning application, you may have been asked for a Bat Survey.
This may be a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA), or it can be known as a Bat Roost Potential survey, and this can be done any time of year. Our fully qualified ecologists will assess a building or tree for suitability for bats and examine any evidence of bats such as droppings and feeding remains. This will inform our ecologists whether there is any need for further surveys.
What happens if you need a further survey?
If evidence of bats are found (or the building appears suitable for bat roosting) in the Bat Roost Potential Survey, then the next stage will be ‘activity surveys ‘ also called ’emergence’ and ‘re-entry’. These need to carried out from May to September when bats are ‘active’. Our ecologists use specialist equipment to determine the species of bats and how many are using the building.
What happens if bats are identified?
The results of the bat survey(s) will inform the need for appropriate mitigation measures. If mitigation measures are required, they are likely to be added as planning conditions.
Lower impact measures may require just the installation of a bat box or two. You may also be able to make small alterations to project designs or timing of work.
If this is not possible, the use of alternative mitigation measures to reduce the impacts must be implemented.
Mitigation and compensation methods can include:
- Changing work methods or timing to avoid roosting periods. For example, work to be complete during winter on summer roosts.
- Creating new roosts within the same building or on neighbouring structure
- Improving or creating habitats.
- Long term management of habitats
- Roost monitoring after the development
What if I have planning?
Bat surveys may still be required even if planning has been granted. Planning permission does not override legislation and there is still a legal requirement to ensure bats are not impacted by a new development. Therefore you may still need to appoint an ecologist to carry out a Bat Survey.
If you need a bat survey, contact us today to discuss your requirements! Please telephone: 028 9074 7766 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org