Bat Survey Report for Planning and Development

When engaging in construction or development endeavours, it is crucial to evaluate the potential effects on nearby wildlife and biodiversity. Bats, recognised as a protected species, hold significant ecological importance and are highly susceptible to alterations in their surroundings.

Consequently, it is essential to perform comprehensive bat surveys during the planning permission phase to determine their presence and conservation requirements within the project vicinity.

Therefore, developers undertaking planning work that may impact bats or their roosts are required to demonstrate consideration for them by instructing a licensed ecologist to conduct a bat survey for a bat survey report.

What types of bats are there in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, there are various species of bats. These species vary in size, habitat preferences, and feeding behaviours. Some of the main species of bats include the common pipistrelle bat, the noctule bat, the soprano pipistrelle bat, Daubentons’ bat, the whiskered bat, Brandt’s bat, the brown long eared bat, Leisler’s bat, the Nathusius bat and many more.

It is important to note that some of these bat species are rare and have specific habitat requirements. Conservation efforts are in place to protect and preserve these creatures in the United Kingdom.

Types of bat surveys

There are several types of bat surveys that may be conducted as part of the planning permission process. The specific type of survey required will depend on various factors. These may include the nature of the proposed development, the location, and the presence of suitable bat habitats. Here are some common types of bat surveys for a full planning application:

  • Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA): This initial survey involves a visual inspection of buildings, trees, and other structures within and around the development site to identify potential roost sites, feeding remains, and dead bat carcasses. It helps determine if further surveys are necessary and provides a preliminary indication of the presence or likely absence of bats.
  • Roost Characterisation Surveys: If bat roosts are identified, further surveys may be conducted to gather more detailed information about the roost, such as its size, occupancy, and conservation significance. These surveys help inform appropriate mitigation measures and ensure the conservation of habitats.
  • Bat Emergence Surveys and Re-entry Surveys: These surveys are conducted at dawn or dusk, the times when bats are most active, to observe their exit from and return to roosts. This is often located near roof tiles and hanging tiles. This survey method provides data on bat species, roost locations, and activity levels.
  • Activity Surveys: These surveys involve the use of bat detectors, which record and analyse bat echolocation calls. They provide information on bat species present, their activity patterns, and foraging behaviour. Activity surveys can be conducted using static detectors placed at strategic locations or by employing transects to cover larger areas.

It is important to note that the specific survey requirements may vary depending on regional habitat and species regulations and local planning authorities. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with qualified ecologists or bat surveyors familiar with local requirements to determine the most appropriate surveys. Further information on bat survey guidelines can be found on the Bat Conservation Trust website.

What is a bat survey report?

A bat survey report is a document prepared by ecologists after conducting a survey or assessment of an area to determine the presence, abundance, and activity of bats. The bat survey report typically includes detailed information such as the species of bats observed, their roosting sites, foraging areas, and flight patterns.

It may also assess the suitability of the habitat to support roosting bat populations and provide recommendations for conservation or mitigation measures to protect bats and their habitats, especially in areas where development or land management activities are planned.

Bat survey reports are often required by a local planning authority to ensure compliance with wildlife protection laws and to inform decision-making processes related to planning and development projects.

Why are bat surveys important?

Due to their ecological importance, bats are legally protected under national and international legislation, including the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of habitats and Species Regulations 2010. It is an offence to kill, injure, capture, or intentionally disturb bats in their natural habitats.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences and projects delays. Therefore, bat survey reports provide vital information to ensure that development projects meet these regulations. This information is also crucial for bat conservation efforts in the area.

When can a bat survey report be carried out?

Bat surveys are typically conducted during specific periods when bats are most active, as their activity patterns vary throughout the year. However, the bat survey season is typically at its peak during the summer months. Therefore, most bat surveys should be carried out during this period.

Although, if bat activity is found during the summer months, a bat hibernation survey may be required during the winter months to establish whether the area is also used by hibernating bats.

It is important to note that the specific timing of surveys may vary depending on regional variations in bat activity and weather conditions. Additionally, some surveys may require multiple visits over several evenings or nights to obtain comprehensive data on the presence of bats, their behaviour, and habitat usage.

When planning bat surveys, it is crucial to consider any legal requirements and consult with experienced ecologists or licensed bat surveyors who are knowledgeable about the local bat species and their seasonal behaviour. They will be able to provide guidance on the most appropriate survey timing and methodology for your specific location and project.

How can Collington Winter assist?

Collington Winter Environmental are a team of ecological consultants with extensive experience in undertaking bat and hibernating bat surveys on all types of development projects. Our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, holds a Natural England Bat licence and has worked with protected species across the UK.

If a bat survey report determines that your proposed project may affect bats, our team can provide bat mitigation measures to ensure that your project meets legal requirements. We understand the importance of ecosystem services, natural resources, and natural capital, and we provide practical, realistic solutions to developers in all fields.

Please get in touch with our Ecology Director Olivia Collington via email at for more information on protected species surveys. We also provide preliminary ecological appraisal and assessment services.

Our Director Jane Winter also provides landscape architecture services.

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