There are only a few qualified, licensed and experienced bat ecologists doing bat surveys in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Swansea, each with a number of experienced helpers and accredited agents. All would be very willing to discuss the requirements for your particular project and offer specific advice with no obligation. They all have extensive experience working on buildings of all sizes, ranging from small homes to industrial infrastructure projects.
Bat surveys are almost always needed where old buildings are being renovated, where roof spaces are to be changed by building works, where redundant buildings are to be demolished or renovated, where trees with roost features are to be taken down or where new structures might impact on bat flight paths. A few species of bats are endangered across much of their range and many have declined internationally. West Wales is a key area for some of the rarer species.
All UK bats species are fully protected under European and UK laws. It is a criminal offence to deliberately capture, injure, kill or disturb bats anywhere or to intentionally or recklessly destroy, obstruct access to or damage a bat roost, whether bats are present or not.
Bat Surveys – Additional information
The presence of bats does not usually mean that a development is prevented but it does mean that suitable, usually quite inexpensive, mitigation is required and ecologists are able to provide sound advice on such requirements.
A bat survey usually involves an initial detailed assessment of the building(s), structure, tree or location to identify any obvious roost sites or potential roost features. If the site shows absolutely no signs of activity and the level of potential is very low then a report may be produced for planning authorities at that stage. This bat scoping survey may be carried out at any time of the year.
More usually where bat roost potential is identified a scoping survey is followed by a bat emergence survey around dusk which may then trigger additional dawn surveys. Ecologists may also use remote detection equipment or require more detailed further survey work in a few locations. This work has to be carried out between May and September and under suitable weather conditions. Large industrial complexes or demolition projects are likely to need more detailed bat surveys. Only qualified and licenced surveyors are able to access known roost sites.
Bat surveys are required to establish the location of roosts, the flight lines used, the number and species of bats present and to establish suitable mitigation requirements. A detailed bat survey report is prepared (usually within a month) for presentation to the planning authorities which will also advise you whether or not you will need a European Protected Species license.
Further Bat information
There are 17 species of bats regularly recorded in the UK and West Wales is regularly host to 12 of them and is a key breeding site for the rare Greater Horseshoe, Barbastelle bats and other scarce species. A key part of south Pembrokeshire is designated as a Special Area of Conservation for bats – Link
More information on bats in Wales can be found at Natural Resources Wales