All bat species and their roosts receive protection under UK and European legislation. This legislation makes it illegal to; intentionally or deliberately take, kill or injure a bat; damage, destroy or obstruct access to bat roosts; deliberately disturb bats.
A bat roost is defined in the legislation as "any structure or place which a bat uses for shelter or protection". Roosts are protected whether or not bats are present at the time. If a development activity is likely to result in the disturbance or killing of a bat, damage to its habitat or any of the other activities listed above, then a licence will usually be required from Natural England.
EMEC Ecology carries out bat surveys as part of large public and private sector projects, or small residential development sites including re-roofing and home extension projects. A Daytime Bat Survey is normally the first step in determining whether planned works are likely to negatively impact bats.
Daytime bat surveys can be conducted at any time of year; however, should follow up Bat Activity Surveys be required, these can only be carried out during bat activity season (May to September inclusive).
A daytime bat survey involves a survey of the building(s) / tree(s) to be affected, looking for signs of bats such as droppings, feeding remains, scratch marks, urine stains, and actual sightings, as well as potential access points and roost sites such as holes, cracks and crevices.
Following the Survey
We will provide a report detailing the survey methodology and results and recommendation for general mitigation measures, further surveys and/or consultation, as appropriate. The report will be provided as soon as possible following the survey, however; should you have a specific date for submission of a planning application we will do our utmost to accommodate this.
Should evidence of bats be found or areas suited to roosting bats identified it may be necessary to complete further evening emergence and / or dawn swarming surveys. These bat activity surveys allow for identification of roost entrance / exit points, number of bats present and species of bat using a roost. See our Bat Activity Surveys page for more details.