A Bat Survey is usually required by the local authority when a planning application involves the demolition or modification of a building or other artificial structure, or the removal of trees due to development.
There are seventeen species of bats resident in the UK, all of which are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), making it an offence to capture, injure or kill a bat, or to damage a bat roost, even at times when bats are not present.
Based in Calderdale, our office has good connections to provide bat surveys throughout West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
As the first stage to determine if bats are present in a building, we usually recommend a Bat Scoping Survey (this is often carried out in conjunction with a Phase 1 Habitat Survey). The Bat Scoping Survey is undertaken in the daytime, and assesses a building’s potential for roosting bats. Our ecologists conduct a thorough inspection of the building, searching for bats, or signs indicative of bats such as entrance/exit holes, droppings and feeding remains. Bat Scoping Surveys can be undertaken at any time of the year.
A Bat Scoping Survey is often all that is required to attain planning permission in regard to bats, particularly for those buildings with negligible potential for roosting bats. If, however, bats or signs indicative of bats are found, then a Bat Activity Survey is usually recommended. This includes between one and three site visits, whereby the exterior of the building is surveyed at dusk or dawn using frequency division and time expansion bat detectors. This can enable us to gain an understanding as to whether any bats are present, and if so, the size and species composition of any colony. Due to bat hibernation times, Bat Activity Surveys are usually recommended between May and August, although it is sometimes possible to carry out surveys in September.
Bagshaw Ecology specialise in carrying out Bat Habitat Surveys in trees. A bat survey is often a requirement if a tree is to be removed or pruned, whether for safety reasons or due to a proposed development.
The initial stage of any bat survey is a bat scoping survey, whereby potential tree features suitable for roosting bats are identified from ground level. Using methods prescribed by the Bat Conservation Trust, individual trees are assigned a level of roost suitability, based on their size and the presence of any features indicative of bats, such as cavities, cracks and flaking bark. This can determine if further surveys are required prior to tree removal.
When suitable habitats for bats are present in a tree, our trained and qualified consultants are able to carry out aerial tree inspections, accessing potential habitat features and inspecting them with an endoscope to confirm the presence or absence of bats.
Bat tree inspections are often carried out in conjunction with other ecological surveys, such as Phase 1 Habitat Surveys, or alongside tree surveys, including BS5837 tree surveys and Tree Safety Assessments.