A number of bat surveys may be required by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). This might be as part of a planning application or following completion of a NI Biodiversity Checklist Assessment.
These may include bat activity and bat roost surveys or tree climbing (Potential Roost Feature inspection) bat surveys. Required standards for these surveys are available here.
There are 8 species of bat found in Northern Ireland. The Conservation (Natural 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 important that appropriate bat surveys are conducted prior to site works. This will ensure compliance with planning and legislative requirements, inform impact assessments and conservation management. Whatever your project, we can provide the survey you need to stay within the law and protect bats.
What type of Bat Survey do I need?
The type(s) of bat survey that you need will depend upon the specifics of your project. It will also depend upon the habitats present on your site and in the surrounding area.
If habitats that may be valuable to foraging or commuting bats will be lost as a result of your project you may need a Bat Activity Survey. Equally, if your project might have a negative impact on foraging or commuting bats (e.g. a wind turbine or wind farm) you may need a bat activity survey.
If your project involves works to or demolition of an existing built structure or the illumination of an existing built structure you may need a Bat Roost Survey.
If your project involves the felling, pruning or illumination of trees on-site or adjacent to your site, you may need a Tree Climbing Bat Roost Survey.
All our bat surveys are conducted in accordance with best practice guidelines:
- the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Good Practice Guidelines;
- the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Guidelines;
- NIEA specific survey requirements;
- and the British Standard (BS 42020:2013) – Biodiversity: Code of Practice for Planning and Development.
Can Bat Surveys be Conditioned?
If bat surveys are requested they will have to be carried out prior to planning permission being granted. They will not be conditioned. This is because the results of the bat survey(s) will inform the need for appropriate mitigation measures. If mitigation measures are required, they are likely to be added as planning conditions.