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. Bat roosts can be present within trees, buildings, and other structures such as bridges.
EMEC Ecology carries out bat surveys for projects at a range of scales, including large public and private sector projects, and small residential development sites including re-roofing and home extension projects. A Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) for bats is normally the first step in determining whether planned works are likely to negatively impact bats.
Preliminary Roost Assessments can be conducted at any time of year; however, the optimal time of year for this type of assessment on trees is during winter, when vegetation is less likely to obscure features. Should further bat surveys be required, these can only be carried out during the bat active season (May to September, inclusive; with most of the surveys undertaken within the optimal season of May to August, inclusive). If multiple further bat surveys are required, these should be spaced at least two weeks apart.
A Preliminary Roost Assessment involves a survey of the building(s) / structure(s) / tree(s) to be affected, looking for signs of bats such as droppings, feeding remains, scratch marks, urine stains, and actual sightings of bats, 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 and licensing requirements, 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 re-entry surveys. These further bat surveys allow for identification of roost entrance / exit points, number of bats present, species of bat using a roost and characterisation of the roost. Should the building(s) / structure(s) / tree(s) be suitable for hibernating bats, hibernation surveys may be required over winter, which would involve searching for hibernating bats during a daytime survey, and the deployment of static bat detectors.
Should the site provide suitable features for bats swarming during the autumn, swarming surveys may be required between mid-August and October inclusive to understand how bats use the site.
Should habitat on site be suitable for foraging and/or commuting bats, it may be necessary to complete bat activity surveys. These surveys would involve recording bat activity along a walked transect at dusk/dawn in addition to using automated static detectors at fixed locations.
Information regarding further bat surveys can be found here:
Request a quote
EMEC Ecology provides Preliminary Roost Assessments for bats throughout Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and the rest of the UK. Each survey will be specific to a site and the costs will vary accordingly.
If you require a quotation, please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org including any site plans that you have available (or details and photographs of the site if applicable) with details of the proposed works, along with your contact details. Should you wish to discuss your requirements further, please call us on 0115 964 4828.