Bats are flying insectivorous mammals. There are about 16 species resident in Britain which vary from comparatively common and widespread species (eg pipistrelles, brown long-eared bat) to internationally rare and endangered species (eg horseshoe bats).
Bats do not make nests but have ‘roosts’, which may be solitary or gregarious. Individual bats require a range of different roosting sites for differing purposes: in the summer, for example, daytime roosts in buildings and trees may be used, whilst in winter hibernation roosts are required in locations such as humid caves, basements or deep within the fabric of stonebuilt structures. All species of bats are fully protected under both UK and European law.
Both the animals themselves and any structures or places which are used for shelter or breeding are fully protected against both harm or disturbance.
Where development or other works are allowed to affect bats or their roosting places there is a legal requirement to obtain a licence in advance and to ensure that the works do not result in any avoidable harm to bats. The bats should also enjoy continued ‘favourable conservation status’ in the locality once the works are completed, through the incorporation of suitable mitigation and enhancement measures.
Our licensed ecologists are able to undertake all aspects of bat work including preliminary site investigations and surveys, surveys of nocturnal flight activity using ultrasound recording and analysis techniques, night-vision equipment and remote monitoring etc. We also have many years experience in the design and implementation of mitigation strategies including the construction of artificial roosts, bat exclusions and habitat enhancement, as well as in liaising with the statutory authorities and seeking derogation licences etc.