Bats in your Belfry?
Bat roosting sites have become scarce and therefore man-made structures have the potential to be bat roost sites. Alteration works, particularly to walls, roof and eaves, have the potential to effect bats and their roosts.
Many local authorities often require a bat survey by a qualified ecological consultant to accompany planning applications for works associated with existing properties, and because of this we will often have a professional bat expert survey your property.
There are 18 different types of bats in the UK, all of which are endangered species and protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 (amended).
Pipistrelle and long-eared bats are the species most usually found in houses. Amongst other matters, this legislation makes it an offence to deliberately disturb, capture, injure or kill a bat – or to disturb or destroy a roost, whether or not a bat is present.
Does having Bats have the Potential to stop Work on our Building?
The presence of bats does not mean that no work can be done on the building, however it may impact on the programming of the contract and possibly the method of construction. Commencement needs to be carefully timed to avoid disturbance to roosts – the Bat Conservation Trust advise that, where there is a bat roost, construction works should be carried out in either spring (between late April and mid May) or in autumn (between mid-September to mid October).
Why Bats Matter?
Bats are essential for the pollination of some plants and to spread the seed. Insects form part of their diet and so they help to control pests. The Pipistrelle bat can eat around 3000 insects in a night including midges and moths.
Why are Bats Protected?
Back in the 1970s, some experts noticed that bat species in the UK were in decline, and because of this bats became protected by law in 1981. The reason for their decline and the slow recovery for some species is thought to be down to the loss of roost sites and feeding habitats.