Bat surveys must be undertaken to meet the established guidelines such as the Bat Conservation Trust Bat Surveys - Good Practice Guidelines. This legislation has been incorporated into planning policies, which has resulted in planning authorities now having a legal obligation to consider whether bats are likely to be affected by a proposed development.
Bat surveys such as scoping can be undertaken at any time of the year however emergence / activity surveys are restricted to the bat activity season, between March to September with the optimum season between May and September inclusive.
Ellendale Environmental ecologists are fully licensed to survey for bats throughout the UK and have over 15 years experience in undertaking bat surveys and delivering survey reports and mitigation strategies that ensure our clients are able to progress with their planning applications and developments.
Bat Survey Season
When are Bat Surveys Required?
Bat surveys, technical reports and mitigation plans are required for development projects that could affect bats and their roosts, as part of getting planning permission or a mitigation licence.
Surveys are need to show whether bat species are present in the area or nearby, and how they use the site such as a building or trees.
Mitigation plans may be required to show how a project or development will avoid, reduce or manage any negative effects to bat species.
The timing of bat surveys is very important and if they are not undertaken properly they can delay a project or even be refused by a planning authority.
Scoping surveys can be undertaken at any time of the year however emergence / activity surveys are restricted to the bat activity season, between March to September with the optimum season between May and September inclusive.
Emergence / activity surveys can only be undertaken in suitable weather conditions i.e. low wind, no rain and temperature above 10˚C.
Scoping surveys are used to assess the roost potential of a building or structure from Low to High.
Types of Bat Surveys
Emergence / Activity Survey
Emergence / Activity surveys are undertaken at either dusk or dawn and a restricted to May and early September when bats are active. These surveys use ultrasonic detectors to record bat echolocation calls that are later analysed to identify each species of band their call patterns.
During the surveys the bat specialists will concentrate on a building or structure to identify bat activity including access/ egress locations recording the number of bats entering or a roost. Data collected during the survey will be used to draw conclusion about the site and to inform any mitigation required.
Transect surveys can be more suitable to some developments, typically linear or large developments such as roads and wind farms. Transect surveys can also be used on developments where previously undeveloped land will be disturbed for example in housing development where hedgerows and flight/foraging corridors will be affected.
Transect surveys are undertaken by bat specialists following a designated route at dusk or dawn and recording all bat activity encountered along that route. Repeated survey will determine the types and numbers of bats using the site and their patterns.
Scoping surveys are undertaken to identify evidence of bats using a structure or place and can be undertaken at any time of the year. The survey involved a physical inspection for bats to look for evidence including droppings, staining from frequent movements and even live animals that give an indication of past or present occupancy.
The bat specialist will gain access to all internal voids (lofts and attics) and inspects crack and crevices for evidence of bats. The exterior of the building is also assessed for potential bat roosting sites and access points.
Specialist surveys can be devised for a wide range of purposes. Out bat specialists are always happy to discuss your requirements further.
Why Choose Ellendale Environmental?
Your development will be in safe hands with our experts at Ellendale Environmental who will work alongside you to ensure that your development is compliant with the law which will minimise disruption to your project. We are able to ensure this through extensive searches of the surrounding area being conducted for the presence of bats or roosts. If bats are present in the vicinity we work collectively to ensure the development process is not hindered whilst protecting the bats through implementing appropriate mitigation measures.
Bats & Bat Legislation - Find Out More
Bats are protected by UK and European Legislation and bat surveys across the UK can only be undertaken by experienced licensed bat consultants.
There are 18 different species of bats within the UK, 17 of which are known to be breeding here - that's almost a quarter of UK mammal species. All bats species are protected by UK and European Legislation. The legislation lists a number of offences in relation to bats and the places in which they live.
This makes it is a criminal offence to:
Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
The legislation dictates that any structures or place which a bats use for shelter or protection are protected from damage or destruction whether occupied or not.