Don’t delay! The clock is ticking for bat surveys Nick Steggall 25 July 2023

Don’t delay! The clock is ticking for bat surveys

Developers and property owners need to get their bat surveys booked in over the next month or risk delaying their project for another 12 months.

With bat survey season now at its peak, legislation requires that buildings should be surveyed for the presence of bats on two or possibly three occasions between now and the end of August before planning permission can be granted.

To comply with the requirements, surveys should also be conducted at two-week intervals. If you miss the window, then you will have to wait for next year’s survey season.

“At Middlemarch, we’re ahead of the curve and have been using technology for our bat surveys to back up our visual checks for several years.”
Dr Nick Steggall
Associate Director – Technical, Middlemarch

Licensed consultants

Middlemarch has a team of ecological consultants who are licensed to carry out bat surveys under all sorts of circumstances.

With the introduction of new technology, such as infrared and thermal-imaging cameras, our bat surveys will give faster and more accurate results than ever before. This is backed up by the ability to offer sound and pragmatic advice to anyone who needs to work around a local bat population.

Nick Steggall, Associate Director – Technical, Middlemarch, said: “The Bat Conservation Trust issued best-practice guidelines last year, which said that all surveys from 2024 should adopt electronic visual aids such as night-vision cameras.

“At Middlemarch, we’re ahead of the curve and have been using technology for our bat surveys to back up our visual checks for several years. Surveys are usually carried out from dusk when bats can be notoriously difficult to locate. By providing more accurate data, electronic visual aids not only prove if bats are present, but they can also guard against a false-positive result – for example, where bats are flying past a building but not actually roosting inside.”

Footnote: why we need bat surveys

The latest data from the Bat Conservation Trust’s long-standing citizen science project, the National Bat Monitoring Programme, which monitors 11 of the 18 bat species in the UK, shows that populations of the species of bat surveyed appear to be stable or increasing.

However, the first official IUCN Red List for British Mammals showed that four of the 11 mammal species native to Britain classified as being at imminent risk of extinction are bats. These are the greater mouse-eared bat, the grey long-eared bat, the serotine and the barbastelle. A further two species are classified as near threatened – the Leisler’s bat and Nathusius’ pipistrelle.

To protect our native species, the first step in any development or building works should be to gain an ecological assessment of the site from a suitably-qualified ecological consultant.

Source: Bat Conservation Trust

Find out more

For more information, visit the Bat Conservation Trust website.


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Our qualified environment consultants are happy to discuss your requirements over the phone prior to instruction. We’ll provide you with clear and concise advice in an understandable, no-nonsense way. Please contact us on 01676 525 880.

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