Bats, and the places they use for shelter or protection (i.e. roosts), are protected by UK legislation. It is illegal to kill, injure, capture or disturb bats, or damage/destroy/obstruct access to a bat roost.
Bats and the places they use for shelter or protection (i.e. roosts) receive European protection under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (Habitats Regulations 2010). They receive further legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981, as amended.
Regulation 41 of the Habitats Regulations 2010, states that a person commits an offence if they:
- deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat;
- deliberately disturb bats; or
- damage or destroy a bat roost (breeding site or resting place).
The United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) first published in 1994 and updated in 2007, is a government initiative designed to implement the requirements of the Convention of Biological Diversity to conserve and enhance species and habitats. The UK BAP contains a list of priority habitats and species of conservation concern in the UK, and outlines biodiversity initiatives designed to enhance their conservation status. The priority habitats and species in England and Wales correlate with those listed on Section 41 and Section 42 of the NERC Act respectively.
Several bat species are listed on the UK BAP, and Section 41 and Section 42 of the NERC Act 2006.
The reader should refer to the original legislation for the definitive interpretation.
What we do
Our experienced/licensed ecologists will undertake an initial bat assessment of the building, structure or trees to identify any evidence of bat presence or potential bat roosting features. In the event that evidence of bat usage is identified during the bat survey, further bat activity surveys maybe required. This will include up to three surveys during May-September at dusk/dawn.
Bat Development Licence
A Bat Development Licence will be required whenever disturbance of bats or damage to their roosts is likely to occur. The protection of bat roosts applies even if no bats are present at the time of development. Middlemarch has extensive experience of acting as a named consultant on licence applications.
A mitigation strategy is required at part of a development licence application. This strategy provides creative ecological solutions for new habitat and roosts for bats. Bat boxes and even bat houses can sometimes be cost-effective options.
Middlemarch Environmental has a proven track record of successful bat licence application and implementation.
Low Impact Bat Licence
Middlemarch is one of the few consultancies now able to issue “Low Impact Bat Licences” for our clients without further consultation with Natural England.
The low impact licence works on developments which will only have a low impact on a small number of bats, but will still ensure the works are undertaken within the law.
This new process only applies to seven species of bat in UK and excludes maternity roosts and hibernation roosts.
In addition to bat surveys, Middlemarch Environmental has extensive experience of providing cost-effective solutions for all aspects of bat assessment and mitigation and can also provide the following services:
- Tree climbing bat surveys
- Endoscope bat surveys
- Bat transect surveys
- Ecological clerk of works
- Post Development Monitoring
- Bat box supply and Installation
- Habitat Creation Enhancement