Bat Surveys and Monitoring
A number of bat surveys may be required by Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) as part of a planning application or consultation of the NI Biodiversity Checklist and may include bat activity and bat roost surveys or tree climbing (PRF inspection bat surveys. There are 8 species of bat found in Northern Ireland. The Conservation (Hatural Habitats etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) provides legal protection for all 8 species of bat and their roosts. Damaging or destroying a bat roost or disturbing or injuring a bat could result in financial penalties. It is therefore critically important that appropriate bat surveys are conducted prior to commencement of on-site works in order to ensure compliance with planning and NI Biodiversity Checklist requirements, meet research needs, and inform impact assessments and conservation management. Whatever your project, we can provide the survey you need to stay within the law and protect bats.
Bat activity surveys can only be conducted when bats are active between April and September. These surveys are also dependent upon suitable weather conditions and therefore planning bat activity surveys well in advance is strongly recommended. Preliminary bat roost potential surveys (assessment of buildings and trees for the potential occurrence of roosts) can effectively be carried out at any time of year, although the assessment of trees is best done during winter. Bat roost characterisation surveys can only be conducted when the roosts are being used (e.g. maternity roosts during early summer and hibernation roosts during winter). Our specialist bat consultants are experienced in all aspects of bat surveying methods and can advise what surveys are required and their timings. We can also provide pragmatic and practical advice on suitable mitigation measures to ensure a successful outcome for your project.
All bat surveys are conducted in accordance with the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Good Practice Guidelines and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Guidelines. Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have specific survey requirements depending on the type of your development project, these include: general bat survey requirements; single wind turbine bat survey requirements; and windfarm bat survey requirements.
Follow the links below to find out more about other surveying and monitoring services that we provide.