Bat Surveys

Bat surveys

What happens if evidence of roosting bats is found?

Where a bat roost is found to be present the first course of action should be to investigate possible measures for the avoidance of impact to bats by modifying the scheme or timing of works to reduce/eliminate conflict with bats. 

Many projects can be dealt with in this way and no further licensing is necessary although you will need a Bat Mitigation Plan to be formulated that will specify exactly how and when the works can be undertaken. 

Bat Licensing Process

Where avoidance measures are not possible or practical, any works that are likely to encounter bats, damage or destroy roosting spaces, cause killing or injury to bats or cause disturbance then a European Protected Species / Bat Mitigation Licence must be granted to permit the offence(s). 

This process is administered by Natural England and you will require a licensed bat ecologist whom has held EPS mitigation licenses before to write and submit the application on your behalf. This is what Darwin Ecology specialise in. 

The licence application requires detailed information to be gathered and then a detailed method statement which specifies all of the survey work and exactly how and when all works will be undertaken and finally specifies the level of mitigation required to ensure that “the favourable conservation status” of the bat species involved is not detrimentally affected by the works

Is there an alternative to bat licensing?

Practising avoidance of impact is the only alternative. It can sometimes be possible to rethink the scheme so that an offence is not caused. In cases of demolition the roost will inevitably be lost and bats may be harmed so a license is always necessary if bats are found to be present.

There is no defence from committing offences under the Habitats Directive unless a  license is held regardless of how many bats are affected or what species they are. One bat has the same legal protection as 100. Even if it was not known the bats were there prior to the works you would still be at risk of prosecution, as to not check first is now considered as reckless damage. Sentences now invoice £5,000 fines and 6 month custodial sentences.

If your looking for more information we cover areas such as Farnham, Surrey, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire

Southern Office - Farnham, Surrey

Helen Cavilla
01252 413 221
07701 370 762

Laura Ashford
01252 413 221
07525 134 803

South West Office - Shaftesbury

Michael Cummings
01252 413 221
07748 843 842
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