Bat Surveys in the East of England

For examining a development site, ensuring the safety of local habitats and increasing the likelihood of gaining planning consent, our bat surveys are ideal for anyone undertaking a planning project in the East of England.

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Potential Bat Habitats in the East of England

Within the East of England region are six counties and a number of easily recognisable locations. For instance, notable towns and cities include Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Southend in Essex, Cambridge and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, Hemel Hempstead and Watford in Hertfordshire, Ipswich in Suffolk, Luton in Bedfordshire, and Norwich in Norfolk.

As well as a variety of urban areas, more than 80% of the East of England is classed as rural, opening up opportunities for a number of bat species to create viable roosts. A mix of urban and rural areas is ideal for bats as it gives them the option of trees and infrastructure for building bat habitats in barns, garages, houses and sheds.

East of England Bat Species

Bat groups across the East of England region have kept a record of all identified species to inform local people of the bats present in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

In the section below, you will find all bat species currently present in the East of England by county:

Bedfordshire

  • Brandt’s bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Noctule bat

Cambridgeshire

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Brandt’s bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Leisler’s bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Whiskered bat

Essex

  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Pipistrelle bat

Hertfordshire

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Brandt’s bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Leisler’s bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Noctule bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat
  • Whiskered bat

Norfolk

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Noctule bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat

Suffolk

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Leisler’s bat
  • Lesser horseshoe bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Noctule bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat
  • Whiskered bat

Disturbance or harm caused to bats is strictly prohibited under both UK and European legislation. Due to this, all planning projects on development sites where bats may be present require a bat survey and the accompanying bat report before the local planning authority will view an application for planning permission.

Applicable Bat Assessments

Prior to conducting any form of bat survey, an ecologist would carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) on the site to identify protected species and valuable or invasive plant species if bats haven’t already been detected. Once bats are found on a site as the result of a PEA or from the landowner or developer’s observations, the first step in the bat surveying process would be to arrange a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) / Scoping Bat Survey.

As a starting point, the ecologist will begin a PRA survey by discussing the planning project with the developer to gain an understanding of what the development will involve and whether it would be likely to affects bats on the site or property. If, for example, the land development was carried out on a completely separate building away from where bats were roosting, an ecologist may conclude that changes to the development and further surveys will not be needed. Alternatively, if the development is set to directly involve bat roosts present on the site or property, the ecologist would need to conduct additional ecology surveys, namely a Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Survey (BERS).

While a PRA would involve searching for evidence of bats such as bat droppings, prey remains and features on nearby infrastructure that could be used by bats to roost such as loose roof tiles or gaps in infrastructure, a BERS survey focuses more on addressing bat species and population numbers present. Solely conducted at dusk and dawn, and between the months of May and September, BERS assessments require one or more ecologists to monitor the entry and exit points of the site, and record the numbers and species of bats in the vicinity, as well as likely roosting locations.

After any ecology survey, the ecological surveyor will create an ecology report that reflects the results of the assessment alongside recommendations for how the developer can mitigate any potential obstacles on the site. Following a Scoping Bat Survey or a Bat Emergence Survey, the ecological consultant will develop a report that includes information from the survey as well as next steps that enable the development to progress despite the presence of bats. The bat survey report can then be passed on to the local planning authority to support the developer’s application for planning permission.

Consultant Bat Surveyors

Developers undertaking planning projects in the East of England on sites where bats may be or have been confirmed to be present would be strongly advised to organise bat surveys with a reputable ecological consultancy. Through taking this approach, they can avoid any chance of breaching UK legislation, eliminate any costly delays that would arise from bats being found later in the process, and significantly strengthen their application for a planning condition with the local council.

All of the ecologists in our ranks are experienced, capable, reliable and suitably educated, with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in relevant areas. With ecological consultants based in different parts of the country, we can promise bat surveys in the East of England or any other area you need us to visit.

For a free quote, call us using the number above or fill out our handy quick quote form, and our team will be able to give you a price based on the specifications of your site and project. We can then arrange a time to visit your site for a bat survey and help you to get your project through planning.