Building Works and Bats
All of the UK’s bats and their roosts are protected by law. This guidance is intended to help property owners and all involved in managing, maintaining or making changes to buildings, or using the buildings, avoid infringing the law.
Always start with the assumption that bats are present in a building or the surrounding site, unless a bat survey within the last two years shows that no bats or signs of bats are present.
Plan all works well in advance so that a bat survey can be carried out and the works progressed when least disturbance will be caused to the bats.
If you come across a bat or bats during the course of work, stop working in that area and seek immediate advice. You must either arrange the work in a way that will avoid committing an offence or obtain a licence from Natural England.
If you have questions or concerns about bats please check out the Bat Conservation Trust website or call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228.
Where bats are found and/or minor works are proposed in homes or churches, a Bat Conservation Trust Voluntary Bat Roost Visitor may be able to visit and provide advice.
For other projects, particularly those involving planning permission, it may be necessary to commission surveys and advice from a bat specialist consultant. The Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) provides searchable directories of consultants.
This guidance is specific for buildings in England. It has been prepared by Historic England, Natural England, English Heritage, the National Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust.
Our Technical Tuesday webinar, with the Bat Conservation Trust, takes you through our guidance on building works and bats.