Bat Scoping Survey
Our fast-track ‘Preliminary Bat Assessment’ service (sometimes known as a bat scoping survey) is designed to enable homeowners, architects, property developers and others to get an understanding of their buildings’ or trees’ suitability for roosting bats. This is usually a Local Planning Authority requirement.
How long does it take?
Surveys take between 1 hour and half a day. The Bat Scoping Survey can be undertaken and technical note prepared within five days of appointment. The survey will also make notes on the presence of nesting birds as standard.
A Local Environmental Records Search may be required to support the scoping survey. The cost may vary depending on location; a good estimate is £150. We can advise at the time of formal quotation.
May – September
Dusk emergence/ Dawn re-entry surveys are required where evidence of bats has been found during a bat scoping survey or if the building(s), structure(s) or tree(s) were found to be suitable for roosting bats even if field signs were not encountered. These surveys will confirm the presence or likely absence of bats.
How long does it take?
Detailed surveys can only be undertaken between May and September when bats are active. Surveys are normally required by a Local Planning Authority prior to planning application being determined. We can advise on timeframes at the point of enquiry.
For a small extra fee we can also make use of automated recording devices and video surveillance to increase the confidence of positively confirming presence or absence of bats.
If a detailed survey confirms the presence of bats then a license to derogate from the law is required. The license procedure includes preparing formal documents and detailing specific methods by which a roost may be disturbed, modified or destroyed in order to allow works to commence.
How long does it take?
Typically it takes up to two weeks to prepare a license application, provided all survey results and architect plans are available.
A Local Planning Authority consultation form must be completed if planning permission has been granted.
Licensing bodies take approximately 30 working days to respond to a license application.
Need advice? – call us now on 01970 626688
Why you might need a bat survey
In the UK there are 18 different species of bats, all are protected by UK law. Bats live in numerous places or roosts these range from caves, cliffs, trees, lofts, barns or abandoned buildings. Bats live in places where they can also safely hibernate, raise their young and find a plentiful source of food (insects) and water. Bats requirements change throughout the year so they move around to find the optimum place or setting.
Legislation demands that any structures or places which bats use for shelter or resting are protected from damage or destruction whether currently occupied or not. This legislation is generally incorporated into planning policies which means that local planning authorities have a legal obligation to decide whether bats are likely to be affected by a development. They may only determine this from a bat survey.
The conservation of bats within the built environment is reliant on the delivery of a number of factors including the:
- Provision of roosting opportunities
- Availability of foraging and commuting habitat
- Appropriate management / protection of existing roosts and areas
How does this relate to day to day planning?
There are several survey methods that can be applied to determine the presence of bats. A Preliminary Bat Assessment (sometimes called a scoping survey) includes an external assessment and internal inspection of a building to search for signs of bats (e.g. bat droppings, food remains and bats found in-situ). This is usually required for planning applications or building renovations where bats could be present. If a bat survey subsequently demonstrates that a development is likely to affect bat foraging or commuting habitat then linear features such as tree lines should be retained, and planting to mitigate these effects should be considered wherever possible.
Book-a-Bat Survey is designed to provide a fast-track service providing information to the customer and where relevant local planning authority. Information gathered during a Book-a-Bat Survey is based on the latest guidance from the Bat Conservation Trust’s Bat surveys for Professional Ecologists (Collins, J. (ed). 2016) and the British standard for Biodiversity (BS42020:2013). You can find out more here.
The survey can be taken at any time of year and will provide information on whether there is a need for Stage 2 surveys and a European Protected Species License application. Following a Book-a-Bat Survey we will provide you with a short technical report on the findings and recommendations. A Guide for what to expect your bat survey to include can be found here in English or Welsh.