Even if you don’t have bat roosting potential on your development site, you may still have habitats that support bat commuting and foraging. Although bat commuting and foraging habitat is not legally protected, it is a material consideration within the planning process.
Bats use linear features such as mature hedges and watercourses to navigate across the landscape between their foraging grounds and roosts using echolocation. Bats will forage in sheltered habitats such as broadleaved or mixed woodland, along watercourses and above ponds.
The survey effort depends on habitat suitability of a site (negligible, low, moderate, and high). Seasonal requirements are:
- Spring, summer and autumn for low suitability
- Monthly surveys between April and September / October for moderate suitability
- Twice per month between April and September / October for high suitability
Mitigation for bat activity being affected by a development project may include preserving habitats and avoid artificial lighting of areas used by foraging and commuting bats where possible. Where hedgerow loss is required for the development, mitigation will typically include replacement with new hedges that connect to suitable habitats in the wider landscape.
Get in touch
agb Environmental teams have experience of undertaking the full range of bat surveys, with several bat licenced ecologists throughout the south of England. For more information on bat activity surveys, or any other ecology surveys, please contact Richard Parmee (Head of Natural Environment) on 01638 663226 (Newmarket office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.