In total there are 17 native species of bat 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. Because of the significance of bats within relevant planning policy and legislation, it is important to takes steps as early as possible to assess your sites potential of supporting bats. This can be done through bat surveys and bat assessments carried out by relevant persons.
After carrying out an appropriate bat survey or assessment, if it is established that a bat roost is present within a building or tree a Natural England European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) will be required before the roost could be lawfully destroyed and in some cases disturbed.
We always liaise with the clients at this stage to ensure that the mitigation requirements of the licence will be achievable, ensuring they are fully aware of all aspects as the project progresses.
If a large development (i.e. wind farms, large housing developments, infrastructure) will result in the disturbance of > 1 ha of suitable habitat, activity surveys will be required to establish any important commuting routes or foraging areas used by bats. We can work with the client to deliver mitigation and compensation measures that would lessen impacts upon these important areas.
We have a number of licenced and experienced bat workers who have gained considerable expertise in survey, assessment and evaluation of bats roosts and planning and implementing a scheme of activity surveys.
We have obtained a significant number of European Protected Species licences over recent seasons and pride ourselves on delivering these to budget.