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Bat Surveyors – Our Expert Team

Bat Surveyors: Protected Species Surveys

Bat surveys and other ecological surveys are undertaken on and around development sites to inform a planning application and determine the presence of bats within buildings or trees. Development works, from minor home improvements to major development projects require a protected species licence if there is found to be evidence of bats on the site, ultimately ensuring no offences are committed in relation to the bat community.

In general, bat surveys do not delay or prevent development works from going ahead, however it can cause a delay and potential prosecution if bat habitats are discovered once building work has already commenced. As such, it is highly recommended that you instruct a bat surveyor prior to the start of your development to avoid any unnecessary delays or issues. Having early involvement from an expert ensures you are complying to guidelines.

No matter how minor your development work may be, and even if the building has never had or needed a bat survey before, it is important to seek experts in the matter to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible.

bird surveys

What is a Bat Survey?

A bat activity survey will detect the presence or likely absence of bats in a particular area so that plans can be made to proceed with a development. If bats or bat roosts are found to be present on a site, mitigation and compensation measures must be undertaken for the conservation of habitats before any development work can begin that could affect bats negatively and detrimentally.

Bat protection

Due to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, all species of bats are legally protected by several statutes. These species include the common pipistrelle bat, greater horseshoe bat, Noctule bat and soprano pipistrelle bat.

Any works affecting the lives and the breeding of bats, without first gaining a European protected species license, are against the law. For more information on the local species and bat habitat rules near you then your local planning authority can provide more information.

When to survey for bats

In the UK, that active season for bats is during the summer months. Therefore, survey work should be carried out during this time of year to determine the presence of potential bat roosts and types of roosting. If bat activity or potential roost sites are found during a survey in the summer months, a bat hibernation survey may be required during the winter to establish whether the area is also used by hibernating bats.


Types of Bat Surveys

Though there are many types of surveys that can be carried out to assess a number of details, the two most common are as follows:

Preliminary Roost Assessment/Bat Scoping Survey: This is the first step in the bat surveying process which involves an ecologist carrying out a site visit. They will carry out an internal and external inspection of the building looking if bats are present, including insect feeding remains and bat droppings. Bats often hide and nest in small crevices which can mean they often get overlooked by an untrained eye, but a specialist can conduct a roost assessment during the daytime to assess if there are any signs that point to bats being present.

Nocturnal Bat Survey/Bat Emergence Survey: This involves surveyors using bat detectors to record and analyse bat calls. They will be either dusk emergence surveys (when bats are leaving their roosts to forage) or dawn re-entry surveys (the end of the night out when all the bats return back to their roosts).


How Collington Winter bat surveyors can help

The team at Collington Winter Environmental are highly skilled ecological consultants with many years of experience in carrying out licensed bat surveys on a range of development projects around the country.

The Bat Conservation Trust’s (BCT) ‘Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists Good Practice Guidelines’ provides specialists with the latest up to date guidelines and information regarding the best practices of bat surveys, ensuring we are always operating to the highest standard and to the correct legislation.

Our Ecological Director, Olivia Collington, holds a Natural England bat licence and has worked with several protected species over the years, including bats.

For more information on our bat surveys or any other protected species survey, please get in touch with our director at, Alternatively, you can contact us via our website using the form below and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

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Future Business Centre, Cambridge Campus, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge, CB4 2HY


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