We can provide a number of Bat surveys, including small scale, large scale and even high profile Bat surveys. In addition, we provide advice on various Bat mitigation schemes for various projects. Our team quickly identifies situations where the presence of Bats requires consideration. And finds solutions to often complex problems. Our attention to detail, investment in technology and vast experience allows us to be very competitive. We respond to enquiries same day and schedule our surveys in days (not weeks), which helps our clients to meet even very tight deadlines. Our efficiency and expertise has saved our clients lots of money!
We have numerous licensed Bat surveyors with extensive experience of survey, mitigation, the licensing process and the assessment of effects on these species.
There are 17 species of bat resident and breeding in the UK. Bats roost individually or in colonies, feeding on insects at night and roosting during the day. Therefore suitable roosting habitat includes buildings, bridges, quarries, trees, cliffs and caves; while suitable foraging habitat includes woodland, scrub, parkland, farmland, hedgerows, wetlands, waterways and suburban gardens.
Protection and Legislation
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010; and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) fully protects all bat species in the UK.
It is an offence to;
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
- Disturb a bat in a place of shelter or rest
- Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
- Obstruct access to a bat roost
- Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
Operations which could affect bats may require a development licence from the appropriate statutory organisation prior to the start of works.
Bat Survey Methods
Depending on the nature of the site, there are a number of bat survey methods. These surveys methods can determine whether bats are present, and how they are using a site. These bat surveys must be undertake by a licensed ecologist.
- Phase 1- Daytime building inspections; Abricon would inspect the building(s) internally and externally for any evidence of bats. This includes looking for droppings, staining and/or bats themselves. Where no bats are found, the building(s) would be assessed for suitability to offer potential roost sites for bats. Abricon can undertake a Building inspections at any time of year.
- Phase 2- Night-time emergence surveys; Where there is potential for the building(s) to house bats, or evidence of bats additional surveys will be required. These surveys will be in the form of dusk/dawn activity surveys. The survey will assess the bat population status and their location within the building(s) (if present). Emergence surveys are seasonally constrained, therefore need to be carried out between May and September.
- Ground level tree assessments; Individual trees or areas of woodland will be searched for potential features which could be used by roosting bats such as; woodpecker holes, lifted bark and trunk cavities. Abricon can undertake this survey at any time or year.
- Aerial bat tree climbing inspections; This technique, which uses access skills borrowed from tree surgery, is far more definitive than ground-based survey. And can be very cost-effective. The surveyors use an endoscope to confirm the presence or absence of bats. We can undertake the tree climbing surveys at any time of the year.
- Transect surveys; Used for conducting a bat survey across a site. The survey involves surveyors walking a route for a set amount of time and recording any bat activity. Transect surveys can be undertaken from April to October when bats are active, therefore the surveys must be spread across the season.
- Remote monitoring surveys; Often used in conjunction with transect surveys for monitoring sites. It involves placing bat detectors at strategic points across the survey site, and leaving them in situ for 5 or more nights at a time to record any bat activity. Bats are active between April and October therefore surveys must be undertaken during this period.
Licensing and Mitigation
Works which will impact upon Bats may require a derogation licence or Bat Low Impact Class Licence. You can obtain this licence from the appropriate statutory body for nature conservation prior to the start of works. A mitigation licence permits operations which would otherwise constitute an offence. This will only be approved if it includes a suitable mitigation plan and is completed by a licensed bat ecologist.