The presence of bats in a property can sometimes go undetected. However, if these creatures are disturbed or harmed as the result of a development project, it would be classed as a breach of European and UK laws for protected species. In these circumstances, the project would then suffer significant delays or potentially face an indefinite refusal of planning permission. Avoiding this outcome is critical, so if you’re building in the North East of England, our ecological consultants are on hand to conduct bat surveys on your site.
Overview of bats in North East England
In the North East, there are four counties consisting of Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and a section of North Yorkshire. Possessing the smallest population of any region in England, notable towns and cities include Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Newcastle and Sunderland. Although often overlooked, the North East accounts for certain northerly parts of Yorkshire, such as Cleveland, Great Ayton, Guisborough, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stokesley and Yarm.
Not only do the various towns and cities across the North East offer opportunities for private housing and other developments, but also a multitude of potential roosting locations for numerous bat species.
North East bats
Looking more specifically at the types of bats in the North East, there have been sightings of several different bat species throughout Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear. In an effort to emphasise the current species of bats present in the region, we have listed them below:
Brandt’s bat, Brown long-eared bat, Daubenton’s bat, Natterer’s bat, Noctule bat, Pipistrelle bat, Whiskered bat.
Alcathoe bat, Brandt’s bat, Brown long-eared bat, Daubenton’s bat, Natterer’s bat, Noctule bat, Pipistrelle bat.
Brown long-eared bat, Daubenton’s bat, Noctule bat, Pipistrelle bat.
Tyne and Wear
Brandt’s bat, Daubenton’s bat, Nathusius’ bat, Noctule bat, Pipistrelle bat, Whiskered bat.
Under the rules of both UK and European legislation, all bats are recognised as a protected species. Due to this, it is against the law to interfere with them in any way. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that a land development project on a plot of land or property that houses bats would disturb them, breaching protected species laws. However, you can avoid any potential problems by calling in a qualified ecologist to carry out a bat survey.
Bat surveys and reports
Before an ecologist arranges any protected species surveys, they will carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) – an assessment on a plot of land that identifies all present species and plants. When the results of a PEA indicate the presence of bats, the ecologist will be required to conduct a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) as a way of determining the species and location of bats on the site. At this point, the developer can explain their project to the ecologist in detail, allowing them to understand whether or not bats will be impacted by it.
Following a PRA, the next step would be to stage a Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Survey (BERS) as a way of learning the specific species of bat present on the site. Conducted outside of hibernation between the months of May and September, a PRA involves the ecologist monitoring the area at dusk or dawn over several visits to the site.
The ecologist will then produce a thorough report on their findings from the survey. All information will be included in the report, as well as effective recommendations that will aim to increase the likelihood of gaining planning permission.
Book a bat survey today
If you are planning a development in the North East and want assurances that any potentially inhabiting bats will not be harmed, it would be advisable to book a bat survey with an experienced ecologist.
With expert ecologists across the country, our qualified team of surveyors is prepared to carry out bat surveys in all areas of the North East. For a free quote, simply fill out the form above or call us directly at 0808 169 6956.