Phase 2 Bat Survey for Planning and Development
Developers will often be required to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of the planning permission process to determine whether any species are present on site. If a protected species is found to be present, further specific surveys will be carried out. In the case of bats, a phase 2 bat survey should be carried out in order to gather more detailed information.
When undertaking construction or development projects, it is essential to consider the potential impact on local wildlife and biodiversity. Bats are a protected species, and they play a vital role in ecosystems and are particularly sensitive to changes in their habitat.
What is a phase 2 bat survey?
A Phase 2 bat survey is a type of ecological survey conducted to assess the presence of bats and their activity in a specific area. The goal of a Phase 2 bat survey is to gather evidence of bats and detailed information about bat populations or their use of a particular site.
Key components of a Phase 2 bat survey may include:
- Dusk and Dawn Emergence and Re-entry Surveys: Bats are often surveyed during their active periods at dusk and dawn. Surveyors observe bats emerging and record the species, numbers, and flight paths of bats as they leave and return to their roost sites.
- Building Inspections: If buildings are suspected to be high potential roost sites, active surveys may involve detailed inspections of structures to identify signs of bat presence, such as droppings, feeding remains, or entry/exit points.
- Habitat Surveys: The surveyors assess the surrounding habitat to understand its suitability for foraging and commuting bats. This may include the examination of vegetation, water bodies, and other features that could be important for bats.
- Static Detector Surveys: Automated bat detectors may be deployed in various locations to record bat echolocation calls. This helps in identifying different species of bat and their activity patterns in the area.
The results of a Phase 2 bat survey provide important information for conservation and planning purposes. If significant bat populations or bat roost sites are identified, appropriate mitigation measures may be recommended to minimise the impact of the proposed development on these protected species. Consultation with ecological experts or relevant local authorities is often necessary to ensure compliance with legal and conservation requirements.
Why are bat surveys required?
Due to their ecological importance, bats are protected under national and international legislation, including the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
It is an offence to kill, injure, capture, or intentionally disturb bats in their natural habitats. Therefore, if it is found that bats are present on a site, developers are legally required to carry out bat mitigation and compensation measures before any development work can begin. These measures may include the creation of a bat box or roost.
When should a phase 2 bat survey be conducted?
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 undertaken between May and September.
However, 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.
How can Collington Winter assist?
Collington Winter Environmental are a team of ecological consultants with extensive experience in undertaking phase 2 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 it is determined that your proposed project may affect bats, our team can provide bat mitigation measures to ensure that your project meets legal requirements. We can also carry out preliminary roost assessments.
Our Director Jane Winter also provides landscape architecture services.