Bat Survey

Bat Survey for Planning Applications and Legal Compliance

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What a Bat Survey from Adonis Ecology Can Do for You

If you need a professional bat survey and report for a planning application or for legal compliance, if you need to keep costs down, and if you need to keep things running on time - you can have that and more with Adonis Ecology.

Our aim is to help create a situation where business and bat conservation are on the same side - where you can make more money and help conserve bats at the same time. To achieve this, we not only look for ways to save you money while ensuring your development complies with relevant wildlife legislation and planning policy, we also look for ways to actually add value so that you not only have more profit, but achieve a development which you can be proud of for the way it protects and enhances habitat for rare wildlife such as bats.

We would intend to develop a long term relationship with you as we have with our other bat survey clients, most of whom are professional developers and their advisors, such as architects, planning consultants, and chartered surveyors, so you will find that:

Your bat survey and report from Adonis Ecology would achieve your goals in a highly cost-effective manner, because:

You can be confident that we deliver what we promise, as our quality system is ISO 9001:2008 quality assured. In addition, here is an example from a client of Adonis Ecology of how our bat surveys can deliver for you:

“I would like to thank you for the way you have helped with the planning condition regarding bats and other wildlife species on our development site for 97 apartments. You responded quickly to our request to carry out a survey, after the first survey we had by another surveyor was rejected by the council. Your survey report was detailed and done on a completely professional layout, and it fully satisfied the council office’s planning condition. We now look forward to starting work on site. Many thanks.” Sebastian Perez, S G Perez Ltd., Derbyshire.

Some types of bat surveys can only be carried out in a narrow seasonal window each year, so if your business requires a bat survey, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail and make sure you don't miss the seasonal window or you could have to wait for another year!

More detail is given below on what your bat survey would involve and the likely implications of the findings.

Bat Survey for Building Demolition/Conversion/Refurbishment

Your bat survey in this instance would typically involve a licensed bat surveyor and assistant as appropriate visiting the site with torches, ladders and a video-endoscope. The surveyor would look for both the bats themselves and signs left by the bats, checking relevant crevices and cavities as far as reasonable and safe access allows. The survey for these assessments typically last no more than a day on most sites and can be carried out at any time of year, but would usually be more effective in summer when bats are more active.

The three typical outcomes of such a bat survey are given as follows:

Emergence/re-entry survey typically involves three site visits in the evening or early morning to record bats leaving or returning to their roost. The purpose of these surveys would be to establish a reasonable certainty about which species of bat and what numbers of them are using your site. It is necessary to know the species and numbers in order to ensure that mitigation is effective (different species have different requirements) and proportionate to the importance of the bat roosts. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the bat roost.

For planning applications, please note that government guidance states that Local Planning Authorities should have ALL the survey and mitigation information BEFORE they decide a planning application - so if emergence/re-entry surveys are needed, they are almost always required before the planning application is decided, and are rarely made a condition of planning consent.

Here is an example from a client of Adonis Ecology of the sort of service we can deliver for you:

“Adonis Ecology have led me through the minefield of bureaucracy in dealing with the planners and Natural England to obtain a Bat license. They put together a mitigation strategy ensuring that the impact on my development was nominal. As a result of their knowledge and professional approach my application went through smoothly. I have no hesitation in recommending them on to any other person”. Neil Nugent, NWN Developments Ltd., London.

If your business has a number of buildings that you think require this type of bat survey and a report, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

Bat Survey for Tree Works or Limited Tree Removal

Your bat survey in this instance would typically involve a licensed bat surveyor and assistant as appropriate visiting the tree or trees with torches, binoculars, ladders and video-endoscope. The surveyor would look for both the bats themselves and signs left by the bats, checking relevant crevices and cavities as far as reasonable and safe access allows. The survey for these assessments typically last no more than a day on most sites and can be carried out at any time of year, but would usually be more effective in summer when bats are more active.

The four typical outcomes of such a bat survey are given as follows:

Emergence/re-entry survey typically involves three site visits in the evening or early morning to record bats leaving or returning to their roost. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the bat roost.

For planning applications, please note that government guidance states that Local Planning Authorities should have ALL the survey and mitigation information BEFORE they decide a planning application - so if emergence/re-entry surveys are needed, they are almost always required before the planning application is decided, and are rarely made a condition of planning consent.

If your business has trees on a site that you think require this type of bat survey and a report, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

Bat Survey for Large Developments

Large developments can potentially have more widespread impacts than on single bat roosts (and will often be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment). In these situations, it is common for commuting and foraging bat activity to be of concern as well as bat roosts. In these situations, the process we would undertake for your bat assessment (normally we would be assessing all the relevant site ecology at the same time) would be as follows:

  1. Initial desk study and site survey visit, during which trees and buildings would be assessed for likelihood of supporting bats, and the likely value of different areas for foraging and commuting bats recorded, based on habitat features. This sort of assessment can be carried out at any time of year. A report would be produced showing the high bat risk areas on site, and recommending what type and extent of further surveys you may need to help you have a successful planning application and comply with wildlife legislation. We would normally recommend you submit this report to the Local Planning Authority or other relevant party (e.g. at Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Stage) as part of consultations to ensure the ecology consultees agree the survey methods before proceeding to the next stage. For planning applications, please note that government guidance states that Local Planning Authorities should have ALL the survey and mitigation information BEFORE they decide a planning application - so these further surveys are almost always required before the planning application is decided, and are rarely made a condition of planning consent.
  2. Detailed visual inspections of buildings and trees considered to be at significant risk of supporting bat roosts, based on the initial assessment. The more detailed visual inspections would typically involve a licensed bat surveyor and assistants as appropriate visiting the areas at significant bat risk with torches, ladders and endoscope. The surveyor or surveyors will look for both the bats themselves and signs left by the bats, checking relevant crevices and cavities as far as reasonable and safe access allows. The survey for these assessments can be carried out at any time of year, but will usually be more effective in summer when bats are more active.
  3. Bat emergence/re-entry surveys as required of likely bat roosts identified from the detailed visual inspections. Emergence/re-entry survey typically involves three site visits to each potential roost in the evening or early morning to record bats leaving or returning to their roost. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the bat roost.
  4. Bat activity surveys as required of likely foraging and commuting routes identified during the initial assessment. These would typically involve a combination (dependent upon particularly site security) of automated and manual bat surveys on at least three occasions in the evening and early morning to record bat passes. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) if using manual surveys, and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls during both manual and automated survey. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the site.
  5. Our quality-checked report for you would include a full description of methods carried out in accordance with industry standard and best practice, the findings including the value of the different parts of the site for bats, the likely impact and significance of the impact on bats, recommendations for impact avoidance where possible, and recommendations for proportionate mitigation where impact could not reasonably be avoided within your scheme. If needed for an EIA, the findings could be included in an Ecology Chapter of the Environmental Statement.

If your business has a large site that you think requires a bat assessment and report, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

Bat Survey for Onshore Wind Turbines

The level of survey effort required for an onshore wind turbine development varies greatly depending upon the potential impact on bats - which is largely based on the number of turbines involved and their location relative to features important to bats (e.g. woodland, watercourses, hedgerows). It is therefore critical to ensure that adequate consultation is carried out following the initial assessment to ensure that proportionate and appropriate levels of survey effort are used, so as not to either hinder the planning application or cause unnecessary delays and costs. The process we would typically use in these situations for your bat assessment (normally we would be assessing all the relevant site ecology at the same time) would be as follows:

  1. Initial desk study and site survey visit, during which nearby trees and buildings would be visually inspected for likelihood of supporting bats, and the likely value of different areas of the site for foraging and commuting bats recorded, based on habitat features. This sort of assessment can be carried out at any time of year. A report would be produced showing the high bat risk areas on site, and recommending the type and extent of further surveys needed to help you have a successful planning application and comply with wildlife legislation. We would normally recommend you submit this report to the Local Planning Authority or other relevant party (e.g. at Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Stage) as part of consultations to ensure the ecology consultees agree to the survey methodology and effort before proceeding to the next stage. Please note that government guidance states that Local Planning Authorities should have ALL the survey and mitigation information BEFORE they decide a planning application - so these further surveys are almost always required before the planning application is decided, and are rarely made a condition of planning consent.
  2. Bat emergence/re-entry surveys as required of likely nearby bat roosts identified from the detailed visual inspections. Emergence/re-entry survey typically involves three site visits in the evening or early morning to record bats leaving or returning to their roost. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the bat roost.
  3. Bat activity surveys as required of likely foraging and commuting routes identified during the initial assessment. These would typically involve a combination (dependent upon particularly site security) of automated and manual bat surveys on at least three occasions in the evening and early morning to record bat passes. The bats would be recorded both visually (assisted by night vision equipment after dusk) if using manual surveys, and with the use of bat detectors to pick up their ultrasonic calls during both manual and automated survey. The ultrasonic calls would be recorded and analysed using specialist bat call analysis software in our office, so as to establish the species involved with as much certainty as reasonably possible. The surveys are typically carried out between May to September, depending upon the likely seasonal use of the site.
  4. Our quality-checked report for you would include a full description of methods carried out in accordance with industry standard and best practice, the findings including the value of the different parts of the site for bats, the likely impact and significance of the impact on bats, recommendations for impact avoidance where possible, and recommendations for proportionate mitigation where impact could not reasonably be avoided within your scheme. If needed for an EIA, the findings could be included in an Ecology Chapter of the Environmental Statement.

Please note that all our ecology work for onshore wind turbines (including bat survey work) is carried out through Advanced Windfarm Ecology Ltd. Therefore, if your business has an onshore wind turbine site that you think requires this type of bat survey and a report, contact Advanced Windfarm Ecology today on 07811 901 289 or director@awecology.co.uk to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

 

Page Author: Richard Sands