Bat surveys are essential when considering species sustainability. Unfortunately, bats are suffering population declines due to a variety of factors, such as the loss and degradation of habitats and roosts, poisoning via chemicals found in treated timbers, and poor water quality.
Bats are the only true flying mammal, making up almost one quarter of UK mammal species. Each species prefers to roost in certain locations, including within buildings, trees and underground, like cellars and caves for example.
Bat Survey Legislation
All bat species are protected under UK and European Union (“EU”) laws, including:
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
- The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010
- Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000
- Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
- Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996
Under these legislations all bats are protected from:
- Capturing, killing, injuring and disturbing;
- Damaging or destroying breeding/resting places;
- Obstructing access to resting places; and
- Possessing, advertising for sale, selling or transporting for sale, live or dead (part or derivative).
What We Offer
Simply put, all Local Planning Authorities (“LPA”) and development proposals which have the potential to impact on local biodiversity require confirmation that wildlife can be protected from injury or disturbance during the development.
At Greenlight Environmental Consultancy, we offer a wide range of services with respect to bat surveys that fit these legislative requirements. We use quality technology for all our assessments, such as electronic bat detectors to listen to echolocation calls and accurately identify species.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (“PEA”)
Required as a first step to address the ecological aspects of a planning application, a PEA is an initial site assessment to identify habitats present on site that may support protected species. This assessment can be conducted throughout the year and includes a desktop study, site visit and a Preliminary Bat Roost Assessment (“PRA”) if buildings and/or trees are present on site. Recommendations for necessary further bat surveys and appropriate mitigation and enhancements for the proposed development result from PEAs.
Preliminary Bat Roost Assessment (“PRA”)
Preliminary Roost Assessments evaluate buildings, trees and surrounding habitats to determine their suitability for roosting bats; an assessment for birds, including owls, is also incorporated. Included in a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal if buildings and/or trees are present on site, PRAs are often required for barn conversions to residential use. They can be undertaken throughout the year and recommendations for necessary further bat surveys to support a planning application result from these assessments.
Emergence & Re-entry Surveys and Bat Activity Surveys
Emergence and re-entry surveys are performed at night-time using bat recording and night vision equipment to confirm the absence/presence of bats at a building or tree. These bat surveys help to determine which species of bat are present, how many, and the type of roost (e.g., maternity, non-breeding, hibernation etc.). Activity surveys are performed during the day using walked transect or static detector surveys to determine the absence/presence of bats commuting and/or foraging on a site. Both surveys can be undertaken throughout the year.
European Protected Species (“EPS”) Mitigation Licences
Greenlight will help you obtain a European Protected Species Mitigation Licence which is issued by Natural England under the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended). This licence is to capture or disturb individual bats and to obstruct, modify, or destroy their breeding/resting places.
Overseeing Construction Works
Our team can provide construction support, and will conduct a watching brief during construction works, often undertaken under an EPS mitigation licence, to avoid killing or injuring individual bats. This also includes toolbox talks.
Mitigation & Enhancements
At Greenlight Environmental, we provide mitigation and enhancement services in addition to surveys. There are numerous forms available with each design being tailored specifically to address issues raised at the site in question.
Previous bat mitigation designs have included:
- Construction of bat lofts;
- Saddle roosts for derelict barns;
- Roosts under roof tiles and behind weatherboarding;
- The installation of integrated and standalone bat boxes; and
- Low lighting schemes.
Enhancements may include roost creation, planting of hedgerows and creation of ponds.
Greenlight Environmental Bat Surveys
Make sure your development doesn’t get held up or impact local biodiversity by coming to us for quick and efficient bat surveys. At Greenlight, we are able to assist with assessments before, during and after your project!
Get in touch with us today to find out more.