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Greater horseshoe bat

Bat Survey & Advice

BSG Ecology has one of the UK’s most experienced teams in bat survey, assessment and research. We regularly undertake large-scale and high profile bat survey programs and have experienced staff across the practice. We use our technical expertise to find innovative solutions to complex problems, are at the forefront of training, data analysis and research, and provide expert witness evidence and advice. We have a strong track record of success in securing European Protected Species Licence applications for clients. BSG Ecology has project experience of a wide range of UK bats including rare species such as lesser and greater horseshoe bats, Bechstein’s bat and barbastelle.

Bat Survey Capability

There is a wealth of bat survey experience in BSG Ecology with 14 licenced bat workers across the practice. We carry out in-house training and mentoring of all our professional staff, ensuring continued professional development of our ecologists towards scientific survey licences, where appropriate, and to ensure that all the team have an understanding of the latest developments in the field that are of benefit to our clients. Our in-house team is complemented by regionally-based specialist sub-consultants, with whom we have long-standing relationships. This capacity and capability allows us to undertake bat survey work anywhere in the UK to a high technical standard and enables us to pull together large teams of skilled field workers in a cost-effective manner.

Our bat survey and data analysis capability includes:

  • Designing and undertaking walked transect surveys
  • Remote survey using static bat detectors (SM2 and Anabat detectors)
  • Building assessment:
    • Assessment of the potential of building features to support bats
    • Inspection of internal roof spaces and other voids for roosting bats
    • Activity surveys (dawn and dusk surveys) to record bats emerging from or returning to roosts
  • A comprehensive bat survey service for wind farm schemes, including at height survey
  • Call analysis using a variety of specialist software
  • Tree surveys, including climbed assessments by accredited surveyors
  • Survey and assessment of underground sites/tunnels for hibernacula
  • Radio tracking studies to establish habitat preferences and ranging behaviour of bat species

BSG Ecology has provided editorial advice to the Bat Conservation Trust on its national survey guidance and has also undertaken pioneering research, in partnership with the University of Bristol, to understand the detectability of bats and the air volume sampled through the use of different leading bat detectors.

Related Specialist Services

BSG Ecologyprovides specialist bat support to clients in fields as diverse as wind farm development, barn conversions, new nuclear build, tree management and the preservation of ancient monuments.

Our specialist services include:

  • Expert witness at Public Inquiry
  • Stakeholder liaison and negotiation (including statutory and non-statutory consultees)
  • Preliminary appraisals of the likely bat sensitivity of proposed development sites
  • Advice on legislative compliance
  • European Protected Species Licencing advice, the preparation of licence applications and supervision of their implementation
  • Ecological Impact Assessment including preparation of ecology chapters for formal submission as part of an Environmental Statement (and associated reports to inform planning applications)
  • Appropriate Assessment / Habitats Regulations Assessment advice
  • Bat mitigation:
    • Design of bat friendly buildings, and the creation of roosting opportunities
    • Habitat management for bats, including tree management and habitat enhancement
  • Post-construction monitoring for developments including wind farms

Project examples and professional references can be provided on request.