Bats are versatile mammals which use a wide range of buildings, structures and trees for their rest and shelter, sites known as ‘roosts’. Bats also use a wide range of habitats for feeding (‘foraging’) and movement between foraging areas and for social purposes. All 17 native species of British bats and their roosts are legally protected.
Given their legal protection, many development projects have the potential to cause harm to bats, be it direct though loss of a building, tree or foraging habitat, to indirect impacts such as exterior lighting schemes or through the severance of hedgerows. FPCR are experienced in providing planning support on a wide range of development projects, from domestic extensions and barn conversions to large scale developments and infrastructure projects such as wind farms, bypasses and housing schemes. We have specialist / licensed surveyors to undertake field surveys and a highly experienced management team who are able to produce: detailed bat reports in support of planning applications; biodiversity enhancement strategies; risk assessments / working method statements for removal of trees / buildings; supporting documents for Environmental Statements and planning condition discharge documents.
Where a bat roost is recorded and is to be affected by works, a Natural England derogation licence is required to ensure the destruction or disturbance is legally compliant. FPCR have extensive experience in preparing these documents, including the associated planning issues, liaison with other consultants within the design team, the design of the mitigation and compensation package, production and submission of the relevant documents and plans, supply of qualified personnel for any site supervision and mitigation implementation and finally the post-development monitoring of the site.
Our services include:
- Desk and field based scoping / constraints surveys throughout the year,
- Provision of licensed surveyors to undertake inspections of buildings, structures and trees to determine bat suitability and initial presence/absence assessments,
- Nocturnal assessments of buildings, structures and trees (‘emergence’/’return’ surveys) to determine the presence / absence of bat roosts,
- Climb / inspect surveys on trees using our in-house team of LANTRA qualified tree climbers,
- Nocturnal ‘back-tracking’ surveys to determine the location of bat roosts,
- Nocturnal activity surveys to determine which species are using a site and which features they are using,
- Automated (‘static’) bat detector investigations,
- Specialist surveys using mist nets, harp traps and acoustic lures,
- Reporting of field surveys including the design of detailed mitigation and compensation strategies, Risk Assessments in relation to proposed operations, Working Method Statements,
- Liaison with planning authorities and consultees on potential impacts and proposed mitigation strategies,
- Production of European Protected Species licence application documents,
- Ability to to provide the Bat Mitigation Class Licence (BMCL) service (formerly known as low impact class licence)
- Implementation of all aspects of proposed mitigation using specialist bat Ecological Clerks of Works.