Bat Surveys in the South West

Particularly in the case of developments to existing infrastructure, bats can pose numerous issues. Our ecological consultants in South West England can eliminate any problems by conducting a comprehensive bat survey.

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South West Ecological Importance

Within the South West region are seven counties, consisting of Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, with towns and cities such as Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Plymouth, Swindon and Weston-super-Mare therein.

Dominated by countryside, South West England has a distinct number of rural areas alongside costal locations and a peppering of towns and villages. With such a variety of potential environments to create viable roosts, numerous bat species in the region are given a multitude of opportunities to set up habitats.

Species of Bat Currently Roosting in the South West

The climate, selection of potential roosting location and quality of the environment are just a handful of factors that could influence the occupation of specific bat species in a certain area. Specifically highlighting the South West, identified species of bat by county include:

Bristol

  • Alcathoe bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Leisler’s bat
  • Lesser horseshoe bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat

Cornwall

  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Greater horseshoe bat
  • Lesser horseshoe bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Noctule bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Whiskered bat

Devon

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

Dorset

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Bechstein’s bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Greater horseshoe bat
  • Grey long-eared bat
  • Lesser horseshoe bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat

Gloucestershire

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Bechstein’s bat
  • Brandt’s bat
  • Brown long-eared bat
  • Daubtenon’s
  • Greater horseshoe bat
  • Leisler’s bat
  • Lesser horseshoe bat
  • Natterer’s bat
  • Noctule bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat
  • Whiskered bat

Somerset

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

Wiltshire

  • Barbastelle bat
  • Daubenton’s bat
  • Pipistrelle bat
  • Serotine bat
  • Whiskered bat

Sections of UK law state that any form of disturbance to bats will be judged as illegal and put the person at fault under risk of prosecution. It will also lead to issues with the planning project, such as lengthy and costly delays to the development. With this in mind, it would be vital to reach out to a qualified ecologist for a form of bat survey and assessment if bats are present or evidence suggests that they may be inhabiting the property or site.

Surveying Bat Occupancy

Based on the circumstances of the bat presence, the process of surveying bats can start in one of two ways. The first would be that a local planning authority would inform the developer that a bat survey is needed following the discovery of a roost on the property, or that the developer would arrange a bat survey after finding evidence of bats on the property. The second would be that the results from a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) would suggest that a bat survey on the property is required.

An inevitable outcome from either scenario would be the need for a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA). An ecological consultant will use a PRA as an opportunity to visually inspect all areas of the site and property for evidence of bat occupancy. Examples of evidence include bat carcasses, bat droppings, remains of prey or features that could act as suitable roosting locations. A PRA will also allow the ecologist to speak directly to the developer and determine whether their planning project is likely to impact bats or vice versa.

Upon completion of the PRA, the ecological surveyor will assemble a comprehensive report to explain the outcomes from the assessment and suggest measures that will allow the project to go ahead, even with evidence suggesting that bats are present. If further information is needed or bats are likely to be affected by the project, the ecologist will advise that a Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Survey (BERS) is undertaken.

A Bat Emergence Survey will be conducted by one or several bat ecologists over multiple visits to the site during dusk and dawn. Over the course of this process, the ecological surveyors will monitor bats entering and existing the site as a method of identifying likely roosting locations, as well as the species of bats based on their echolocation calls. With help from specialist equipment and the insight of multiple experts, results from a BERS will provide the planning department of the local council with all of the necessary data, significantly decreasing the likelihood of seeing a planning application denied.

Book a Bat Assessment Now

A planning project can be stressful enough without finding further issues through working with a survey service provider with a tendency to be unreliable or ineffective. Bat surveys, for example, should be carried out by an experienced, trustworthy and capable ecological consultancy with the necessary capabilities, skills and approach to prompt the required results.

Following over a decade of providing bat surveys, we vow to only hire the best ecologists and always yearn to produce a quality service to all of our clients. Situating ecological consultants all over the UK means that we can work on behalf of clients in South West England, other areas of the UK, and potentially even further locations upon request.

Start the bat survey process and the process of gaining planning consent from your local planning authority today by reaching out to us. Call the number above, fill out our quote form or consider our other contact options, and we will give you a free quote based on the specifications of your site and project. From there, we can organise a date and time to visit your site, conduct a bat survey and push your development through planning.