Trees, cliffs and caves are natural roost sites of our native bats. As well as these, buildings or other habitats mimicking these can provide shelter for day-roosting, breeding, mating or hibernating. Bat roosts are protected by UK and EU legislation so it’s important to survey these habitats if they will be impacted by development proposals.
• A Preliminary Roost Assessment assesses the suitability of a structure for roosting bats, and can detect signs of presence in many cases, determining any need for further survey or mitigation licensing at an early planning stage. Can be undertaken year-round.
• An Aerial Tree Inspection is a detailed, close-up survey of all features on a tree which may provide potential roosting opportunities. This can rule-out or trigger additional monitoring visits to determine whether a tree is used by roosting bats.
• An Emergence / Return to Roost Survey uses surveyors, ultrasonic detectors, thermal or infra-red imaging and recording equipment to gather data on bat presence/likely absence, species, numbers and roost locations.
• An Activity Survey uses ultrasonic recording equipment to locate, identify and in some cases quantify bat usage of a pre-defined area of foraging, commuting or roosting habitat.
• Where suitable habitat exists a Hibernation Survey may be used to confirm use by bats during the winter months.
• Where roosting bats are confirmed present and will potentially be impacted by a proposal, a Natural England European Protected Species Mitigation Licence is required.