Webinar on Building Works and Bats

Here you can find a recording of a webinar on 'Building Works and Bats', recorded in October 2021.

This covers:

  • why bats use buildings
  • bats and the law
  • bat mitigation licences and bat surveys
  • planning changes to buildings with bats timber treatments and pest control
  • works to roofs, walls and building services 
  • managing properties for bats and people

You can also find a transcript of the recording and links to further guidance on the topic.

Webinar recording

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Webinar transcript

Alice Ferguson: Hello everyone, and I'll And I will now pass over to Jennifer White, who will introduce Jo Ferguson for today's webinar, over to you, Jennifer.

Jennifer White:  Thank you for joining us today, I'm Jenifer White. One of the landscape architects in the technical conservation team. And it's my pleasure to introduce Jo Ferguson. From the bat conservation trust. And a charted members of the institute of ecology, and environmental management, and worked with bats for a long time as an ecological consultant, and has holds a natural England bat license, and have got the top expert here.

And by way of introduction, more than 10 years ago, the then English heritage worked with natural England, and national trust to publish guidance on bats and traditional buildings and we have withdrawn that, and that's been archived. And what we have been done is working closely with those organizations and the bat conservation trust to develop new guidance, and we have decided to publish this as web pages. And so, there are 10 sections to the new guidance. And these web pages will introduce you to why bats use buildings. And then go on to describe your responsibilities as either building managers or advisers, and how to go about planning and programming building works, and includes details like licensing and bat surveys, and specific consideration such as timber treatments, and finally the last section that looks at use in buildings, where there are bats. And so now I'm going to hand over to Jo. Who will sort of go through that in more detail? Over to you Jo.

Jo: Thanks, Jenifer, for that introduction. And good afternoon, everybody.

Today I'm going to be covering bat biology, and ecology, and why bats face the impacts they do and looking at bats and buildings, and what species might be present where. Including which species might be present were Legislation. Why bats are important and are therefore how they are protected How take bats into account. So how to be on the lookout to avoid impact or plan around them.

And right at the very end, we'll do a little Q&A session sort of wrapping this up, but I'd actually like to begin with asking you all a question, and yeah, thank you, and that's, do you come across that during the course of your work, so I'll just give a minute for that to come through. So, a fair few people, that's something that often happens to you. And I would say even if this never happened before. We'll be starting today by going back to basics really. And then obviously coming back to the web pages at the end to get a wealth of additional information.

So bats are mammals. This means they generate their own body warmth and trap it with very dense fur. It also means they give birth to live young, only one a year, and suckle this pup on milk that they produce.

This means they are far more like us than rodents to which they're normally compared! Bats in the wild have been recorded living up to 41 years and are social, living in groups with young which they creche to go and feed and showing mutual grooming behaviour. However, they are the only mammals that truly fly, and this has allowed them to adapt to a fantastic range of ecological niches. This video shows a UK bat the Natterer's able to hunt spiders off their webs with incredible manoeuvrability and skill.

 [they discuss a technical issue with the video] ....And excuse me we'll have to bypass that one, is bat catching a spider. And we have all the UK bats. In fact, all of our UK bats eat insects, using sophisticated echolocation above our hearing range to recognise their environments, hunt for food and socialize. We can gather this information using bat detectors to help us ‘eavesdrop' by recording their calls and playing them back at a pitch we can hear. The pitch and shape of the call can tell us which species we're dealing with, their calls vary because their prey preferences and hunting strategies vary, to avoid competition and take advantage of the food available! We have 17 species of bat that When I say all UK bats, just interested in you drop the question across. How many species do you think we have in the UK?

Okay, people are getting towards the right answer there. We actually have 17 species that breed in the UK. And 18 species considered to be resident. The variety in face and ear shapes that you'll see here in these groups of species is down to the type of insects our bats hunt and how they hunt them.

So first on the left-hand side are called the big bat P species. ‘Big bats. Noctule, Leisler's and serotine. These are our largest bats (at around 35 grams --, they have similar hunting style (taking large insects like beetles from the air -- and have low calls that can travel long distances. Next the Pipistrelles. Common & soprano pipistrelles are found throughout the UK and frequently in our cities. They are our smallest bats at around 4 grams.

There's also the Nathusius pipistrelle, a species that we've been studying because of their extraordinary migrationary behaviour. Journeys have been recorded of 2200 kilometres or more along the north coast of mainland Europe into the UK and back!

Barbastelle bats are associated with ancient woodland and can pick their way through the cluttered undergrowth. Next and not surprisingly you see here. Long-eared species. The more widespread brown and the rarer grey; their amazing ears allow them to hear even the quietest moth moving on a leaf, where the bats can grab them! Then there are the two horseshoes’ species. The only species to do the classic wings wrapped round their bodies as they hang in the open, they are nationally rare but locally common to the Southwest of the UK.

Lastly there's six species of Myotis bat; Daubenton's bat that is closely associated with water, Bechstein's bat that is closely associated with ancient woodland habitat, Natterer's bat that is closely associated with barns and three very difficult to tell apart species (Brandt's, Alcathoe and whiskered bats -- where DNA analysis is proving invaluable to learn more about their true distribution. I did say 17 species that breed. And 18 residents, and a single -- that shows -- you may hear 17 or 18. are fully protected under the law, due in part to the massive declines in historic populations and their slow recovery. The loss of bats roosting, foraging and commuting habitats accelerated after the industrial revolution Recent monitoring by the BCT's National Bat Monitoring Programme has started to show a slow recovery due to conservation efforts Bat ecology sadly hinders this somewhat as they only have one young a year and they don't breed more than once a year. recovery and status are important not just because of their intrinsic value as unique mammals but also because bats are bio. Indicator species.... a healthy bat population indicates a properly functioning environment for the species inhabiting it, which includes us!

A good local environment effects things such as our physical and mental wellbeing, which relates to issues such as poor productivity and attendance at work or school and even recovery time in hospital. We can all appreciate especially after the last year or how beneficial spending time in nature is and therefore how important it is to protect and enhance it. This is true even in our built environment where our structures can be vital for species like bats survival.

All bats use our built structures at some point during their life cycle but for some species this relationship has now become one of building. Reliance, such is their importance in a bat being able to complete its life cycle. Bats use the features in buildings as they would have used similar features in the natural world, therefore we have different types of roosting behaviour. Species such as our common and soprano pipistrelles are crevice dwellers, this means they are looking for features that replicate lifted bark or cracks in trees and rock faces.

Species such as brown long eared bats are void dwellers, this means they are looking for features that replicate hollows in trees or cave systems.

The reason that bats need to look for replicated natural features in buildings is due to the loss of these in the environment. And it is this need to find new roosting opportunities due to natural ones being lost those forces bats to adapt to our built structures, even at the risk of disturbance and harm.

Buildings also offer warmer, cleaner, safer roosting environment and are frequently being built closer to or within suitable feeding grounds but when we talk about a roost, what exactly do we mean?

There is often a misconception that a roost has to be of a certain number of bats and when looking for them it will be easy to see as this cluster of horseshoe bats shows. However, a roost is any place used by a bat for shelter, even a single bat Bats don't make nests, so there'll be no evidence of material in a roof space Every structure with features important to bats is a potential bat roost.

The main thing bats need when choosing a roost is that it helps them to survive. Not just by keeping them safe from predators but also that it is the temperature they need! Bats suffer loss of heat and therefore energy from food very easily being so small and this can be fatal. Bats choose roosts that meet their specific seasonal needs. Roost sites at different times of year that allow them to complete their life cycle needs are all key to their survival. They're just pieces of the jigsaw puzzle they need.

This is why roost sites are fully protected whether bats are present or not once they are a known roost! In all of the devolved nations there is legislation that protects bats fully.

In fact, the Wildlife and Countryside Act has been in place for 40 years. There's really no excuse for project risk assessments and due diligence not to pick this up. The authorities will obviously take into account that the law hasn't be adhered through deliberate action but if a reckless attitude has been shown in not taking protected species legislation into account this is also prosecutable.

What does this mean in practice? In practice it is an offence to:

  • Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat;
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost;
  • Deliberately disturb a bat;
  • Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time --;
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost.

To know if this is likely to happen during the management of building works or maintenance we first need to know where bats are? We've already discussed that we've got crevice dwelling and void dwelling species. Crevice dwellers like to roost in cracks and crevices on the external facades of buildings -- only as big as an adult’s thumb! -- and coupled with the fact that bats don't make nests or chew wiring they can be very difficult to detect! Void dwellers are often seen in roof spaces as they like to roost at the roof apex but also access tiny gaps to get in there, so suddenly we can start to see how useful and porous our modern homes and workspaces are!

This drawing illustrates not just the features bats want but also that bats want what we want in a home, somewhere dry, safe and stable to live. Unlike the gothic piles that we See in movies. They also want different conditions at different times of year. The life cycle of our UK bats is tied to the lack of heat loss and availability of energy so really when their insect is food present!

In the summer a hot roost site such as a roof space means no energy is lost heating their bodies or their pups and all the energy from food goes straight into milk for their young.

In the winter bats can drop their body temperature to the ambient temperature and go into hibernation or torpor, until their food source is available again and the weather warms up.

Given all that we've discussed that bats are small, inobtrusive and not in a roost site all year round, how can we tell if bat roosts are present to avoid harming them or destroying their roosts? Bat ecologists use best practice guidance such as the free to download ‘Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists' BCT document, plus their training and professional judgement, to guide how and when they should do their surveys. For example, surveys to detect if a maternity roost is present are done when these are active in the summer months, spread through May. Aug As well as bats themselves -- which can be very tricky to find even with specialist equipment and training -- bat ecologists are also looking for signs of bats, such as areas clear of cobwebs and droppings.

So, if we can have the video across, please Alice. As you can see, bat droppings look like mouse droppings but crumble far more easily and this is a straightforward test to see if you think bats might be present and further advice needs to be sought. So, you will be left with a sparkly dust. There is a common misconception that finding bats means building works can't go ahead or there will be delays, however there are a number of pitfalls that if spotted and addressed can help avoid this.

These pit falls are things like seasonality not considered. So, bats taking into account late in project planning. Seasonality not considered. bats only taken into account late in project planning Lack of information on bats. Old surveys or surveys not done as per best practice Lack of communication between stakeholders. Required bat mitigation measures missed avoidance of impacts through planning not considered first Option. Once bats have been taken into account at the start of a project then it will be the type of work taking place that will need considering and whether impacts can be avoided there.

Hopefully you can see now the type of work that could impact bats, this includes building, alteration or maintenance work reroofing, rewiring or plumbing in roofs Remedial timber treatment of wasps, bees or cluster flies Addition of modern Roofing membranes to roost, and things like solar panels. Also these can be direct or indirect, but all must be considered, and advice sought.

Direct impacts that could cause harm or roost loss and therefore impact their survival include Bat access points blocked, excluding or entombing bats Addition of harmful chemicals Demolition or remodelling of building features causing harm to bat and removal of roost Addition of modern building materials that can entangle bats.

Indirect impacts that cause disturbance and may cause roost abandonment include Removal of vegetation causes loss of foraging and commuting habitat Addition of lighting Addition of access for the General public or general maintenance. General public.

There is guidance available for specialists to control for these impacts and with proper consideration this can be done. What might your role be in the process. To be aware of the possibility of bats. And be aware of the possibility of bats, and if there are any signs you should make sure that advice is sought. For example, discussing the system that is currently used by company managing building works or maintenance. Looking at your own management systems, and are they doing regular maintenance and finding out who is responsible and who they might report to? Suggest when people are called, to a property or visit, building needing works that they: Ask about the potential of bats in the property in summer can also check on walls and window ledges for droppings. Look for bats if in the loft space. Shine a light along ridge beams, over stone and brick work to check for bats. Check the loft carefully for droppings. Bat droppings are different to mouse droppings as they crumble. Any evidence found seeking advice.

Really key to say, remember that just because bats have not been seen, it doesn't mean that absence has been confirmed -- usually there is no evidence of pipistrelles in winter, or sometimes in summer -- so always proceed with caution. Now we've talked about where bats might be living in buildings, being aware when doing any of the works we’ve discussed is key and if in doubt seek further advice.

A suggested approach to managing works for the present of roosts could be: Draw up a schedule for future works/maintenance Make a broad assessment of the building/s as soon as access allows, noting potential for bat use Highlight those areas. Buildings that may need a full survey by a consultant in advance Thus build up details of suitable bat features for future reference. Especially a larger company sharing that information. It should be said that if you have a bat roost in your building it doesn't prevent work being done but you have to plan well ahead to ensure bats aren't harmed and the roost is retained.

If works are minor the BCT supports homeowners with a wealth of free advice through our Helpline service and a licensed Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor such as myself can provide a free visit and free If you're doing major work however you will need an ecology survey at the start of the project by a suitably experienced bat ecologist and then they guide you through the process if required and protect the bats and their roost through the licensing system overseen by the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation for your area of the UK. So, in England, that would be Natural England. So, this is where the websites are. And link to our advice as well. And talked about the helpline advice, and if you find a bat at any time, please do ring the national helpline. And -- there is a huge amount of information in there.

And would be really interested in the terms of the historic England pages if people have accessed or shared the web pages already. Or if that's the first time. Okay, for a lot of people, seems like the first contact and first whistle-stop tour through them. And that's absolutely fine, and this is an introduction to the topic, as you can see a huge amount of information out there. And there are additional resources as well and there are also further training opportunities, I'll be running a bat in churches training course, that be the 18th and 22nd of November. And all the links being put in the chat by Alice and that's specifically focused on heritage professionals. And I run them for the built environment professionals as well. And please do check out the details on the website. And just as matter of interest. Based on what you heard today. If we can have the last poll. And do you feel seeking out further advice. And okay, that's... and brilliant. Yeah, I think... this topic illustrates, and you know, as Jenifer was saying, there is a lot of web pages as well. There is a lot to know. But... you know... the good news is there is a lot of resources out there and I would point you to the web pages, and the bat conservation, web pages as well. And there will be ways to contact me as well. And one of the biggest issues is people are afraid to ask and look. In says there isn't solutions. But there is a lot of specialists out there. And please do seek us out and information on the webpages. So, yes, that's kind of my section, really, and it will be great now to have some of your questions. Thank you very much.

Alice Ferguson:  Thanks, very much, Jo, really, really, interesting. And we do have a couple questions already. And what I'm going to ask Jenifer, is if --I'm going to read them out and open them up to the two of you while I add a few more from the chat, and please do keep adding, but I'll start with Tracy's question

Jennifer: Just to clarify, if there was previously a roost previously used what would length of time be suitable for previous use. And when is it no longer used. So, the bat survey, is 18 months or so. And so last survey season, if it's beyond 2 years, you'll want updated information. And hopefully can see from me discussing, we have variety of species and roost types, and needs. And they can move around to have favoured roosting types. And there is lots of cats, and -- species, and so that information the survey is done in the last 18 months or so.

Alice Ferguson:  Great, thanks, Jo, I have another question. Please bear with me. If I, have it corrected. Knows of the -- of a building, that is collapsing, but the survey, and possible mate GAGS, and monitoring cost, associated with possible presence of bats, is around 6,000. 7,000 pounds and is made the work unaffordable to the owner and goes on about using stones and things like that. And I think the question is, given the Historic the importance of the tiles, and imminent loss which needs rescuing from the building, and obviously possible preference of bats.

Jo: And we can't comment on individual mitigation and monitoring, and costs and obviously don't know the project itself. But in terms of keeping cost for bat surveys down, especially for householders we have resources on the website that take you to the charter institute for ecology, and environment management, professional directory, and I would get 3 quotes, and go through with the quote that shows exactly what is included. And tends to be local firms, local experts, and will be providing that local knowledge, and also probably costs more affordable to the homeowner, and I worked for small companies, and national companies, and national infrastructure projects, and day rates included. And this is why you can see, and we do get asked about this, variety of costs involved. And that is how, as a homeowner, I would look for the most affordable bat work, but I can't I'm afraid answer, and talk about specifics. And what I would say is that I would hope that I would like to see pragmatic approaches. And the work that I do is about bats, and people living alongside each other, we're not putting bats first, and I think that's often a big misconception. And having conversations with the ecologists on site. And having conversations with the local statutory nature conservation body, and trying to find solutions with the specialist, and a lot of issues come from people working separately and silos and not meeting and having conversations, and not understanding where people are coming from. And not understanding there is a loss of potentially of a Historic asset through not having these conversations, and communication is really key as well. And hopefully, these resources will give you some of the tools to start having those conversations. I’m probably prone to it. Talking to other specialists and just talking about bats and could be easy for others not to understand what is going on. And hopefully giving you the right tools, and questions. And I'll go to the bat survey guidelines. And which is the overall, best practice, manual, that ecologist, will use to again, understand why they might be asking to do a certain number of surveys, and why a certain time of year, and what restrictions that he might have. And have conversations about, and hopefully problem solving really, and would hope to have pragmatic approaches, where you are coming up against these kinds of issues.

Alice Ferguson: Thanks for that Jo, and move quickly on to the next question. In terms of NERC duty local authorities. How does this affect the role of building control teams, to advice appropriate roofing membranes are used in respect to building works

Jo: The role of the statutory nature conservation organization is to advise on appropriate materials within roof space, and so the question is about -- how the -- whether the building control teams role. It should work alongside the SNCO. And they should give information around a particular roofing material should be used where there's a bat roost... And that leads on to Sue brook's question. Do you know of any breathable roof membranes, that bats don't get snagged in. I sit on the steering group, and work with specialist, and my advisory role is backside of things. And we are at the moment looking at a variety of issues that have been raised to us, I would point you to our website, this is this is a complicated issue at the moment. At the moment, t again your ecologist on your project needs to go to the particulars and to get that advice and in writing. And we all thank you for dropping that in there. Yeah, there's a non-bitumen coated roofing membranes page on our website which has all the most up to date, advice and guidance. We're in the middle of research basically is kind of the short answer and there's a lot. Er going on at the moment, and we're merely the conduit, and put the information on the website, and we don't research the materials ourselves. And so, we are hoping that is something that will come through in the future. But it's something that obviously, as non-researchers are out of our hands at the moment, and so we are supporting this work.

Alice Ferguson: Great, thanks, Jo I want to agree. I think the bat in the picture is very cute.

Jo: Just -- yeah, this is -- you will notice depending on who is doing talks, these brown-long-eared bats, and you will see why. You will notice depending on who do the talks, the preference of their bat will be chosen. And I think that they are charming.

Alice Ferguson: Agree too. How effective are bat boxes attached to buildings?

Jo: Something we would like more information on. A lot of them are built with ecologist advice. And so, we actually have a roost partnership. Where we work with bat box. And access tile manufactures and use the research out there to advice the design, and the big gaps is gathering and sharing that data. And encourage ecologist, and people with boxes out there to share that data. And we know there is certain design aspects that bats prefer. And they get in really, tiny gaps, and bat boxes with access gaps of 20 millimetres, they want to squeeze in, and not be predated and pack themselves close together. And not lose heat. And advice to the design to the best of knowledge we have on research, and they can be contrary creatures. And if they're in an area where they have a lot of good roosting sights, and sometimes people are disappointed. That black boxes aren't taken up quickly. And so, in the summer you have large maternity roost of female, and pups. And -- the non-breeding females and males would be kicked out of there. And you might find a single bat in a bat box, or exploring, and sometimes can it take a bit of time to find the bat boxes, again, yeah, it's something we're working on to get more solid research, and monitoring advice, and kind of looking at ways to do that through our roost partnership. And you can find details about that on our website as well.

Alice Ferguson: That’s great. Mark earlier had a question. -- I don't know if I'm going to say that right. Woodworm treatment, permethrin.

Jo: There is a list on the GOV.UK website, and you can go to bats and type timber treatment, and there is list of products we're aware at the moment is out of date. And need updating. And that's natural ENGLAND, looking at that. And that's something under their control. But we're sort of working with the pet control industry. And some of the products might not be up to date on there. But it will give a list of timber treatment, and list for insecticide and wasp and bees, and give an overview of the types and process. If you think might need in your dwelling, seek advice, and get experts in. So, you are not having to do this kind of work yourself and get advice to ensure the roost is protected. The issues are normally -- obviously, you know, putting chemicals in when bats are present, and using the wrong chemicals, and keep...very clean, and maybe get on their fur, even if they're not present when the actual work takes place. And really important to get advice before you do any of that kind of work.

Alice Ferguson: Mark had a second question. Can door fly screens be used for doors and windows, to help manage bats entering an existing building work area, which is known to be clear of bats, but bats are known to be present elsewhere in a building, and even not managed.

Jo: That’s advice you can come to us about, if it's a known roost and dwelling house, this is type of advice, I would give for free. It tends to be 90% of the time, what will happen at the end of the summer when the juvenile start flying. And juveniles, often find themselves in the house flying around wondering where they are. And if you have fitted something to stop them from coming through the windows, and maybe building work has been done, and potentially something happened in the roof space, and something around the chimney, is available, and in that case, the bats are coming through the building on the inside. And placing inside might stop them from getting out. And all the solutions are great, and things we want to talk to the homeowner about. And great to have people's ideas and suggestions if have you a known roost, doing anything like this that might impact them. It's certainly seeking advice first. And advice that can be provided in the letter. And doing things within the letter of law.

Alice Ferguson: That leads us on to two questions. One from Rs question is how you can demonstrate to a developer say that a site is a bat roost, when it's unoccupied.Rebecca, and Catherine -- How would you act so this is what the importance of being about surveys at the very start of approach.

Jo: So I mean when I talk about finding back and back and buildings, what we're really talking about this ruling that out We have so many species across the UK we have so many different types of buildings with, you know, a lot of the time, a single bout maybe using a building, a few buildings in an area, and so the onus is on the developer to do ecology surveys, even if that's just one initial survey where, you know, an ecologist from sciences this site completely unsuitable. planning authorities should P asking for ecological data to rule out bats on a site, from initial survey, or follow-up surveys depending on what the ecologist found on site. It's the ecologist professional judgment, and their gathering of data and that might be surveys, Building Inspections they might use thermal imaging cameras, there's all sorts of different techniques and ways to, to work through the process so that if a building for example of being demolished, you could be assured you could be that you had done everything under your responsibility, and due diligence. And that is what local planning authorities will be looking for submissions of planning applications. And I should also say, just because something might be permitted development doesn't mean that protected species shouldn't be taking into account as well. And require some conversation or survey.

... Which leads to Catherine’s question. She recognizes that timing is essential to enable all the bat surveys to be necessary to be done prior to work taking place. And learned that a license can't be applied for in advance. But has a building that needs emergency repairs, for example. And what are the options -- just leaving out the details of the building. Because it's not necessarily pertinent. What are the options. If the survey shows preliminary scoping surveys are evidence of bats. Can they or their colleges apply for license on that basis without doing summer emergency surveys. they weren't taking precautionary approach surveys are required to understand exactly where the bats R and what species might be present, you could do a roof visit, and find droppings for one species, and a lot of information from the surveys, and that said, if you are talking about emergency, prepare work. Again, we don't want people having water flooding through their houses for bat surveys. But we're looking to seasonal time project. And how it runs over the 1, 2 years, where you have time to gather all the information if you are dealing with emergency repair work, and there is damage to the building, have that conversation with the ecologist, and it's all about problem solving. And it's not about putting the bats first, it's -- ensuring that have a roost, but it is also, you know, the bats are going to have a roof if through not doing emergency repair works, a building is damaged beyond repair. So, any.

So, anything like that flagging up straight away with the coexist and say, you know, this is, this isn't needed to have a discussion and have a solution that works for everyone. And having the conversation really important flagging straight away

Alice Ferguson: We have another question. From Emma once contacted by anti-bat campaigners concerned about health implications of health in buildings, and advising of particular illness, and risk to allow them to be present in churches, and other vulnerable population, and didn't know how to respond and put this toward you.

Jo: I would just say, there are no known health risks for members of the public who are coming in direct contact with bats. Any more than having -- the droppings are very dry. And they're not like, pigeons and things like that. And damp, and -- things like that. Associated with them. And the droppings are very dry, if anything you might wear a face mask, as you would any dusty old building, or have dust in the air, and droppings cleared in line with advice through our health line, through dwelling, and ways of doing that every year. And there is a lot of scare mongering out there. And bats have been privy to a huge amount it, in the last 18 months.

Jennifer: Really great resource on the website, with whole list of FAQs on bats and disease. And it’s not a reason to not have bats within a building, or a dwelling. And obviously sometimes bats get into living space, or might be, yeah, flying around the con -- congregations. and churches projects looking for solutions that work for the baps, and who may have been using specially buildings like churches, you may have had a population for hundreds of years, and these kinds of structures are completely essential for that survivor within the area but that said, if it's a place of worship. Ii may also have other functions. We don't want people to not use it to that. So working alongside the population, rather than scare mongering, and mistruths, to create these kinds of issues. And yeah, I would really encourage you to arm yourselves with the facts on our website, and to not take this kind of -- these kind of conversations at all seriously. In terms of their scaremongering, not in terms of, you know, having that conversation we are quite happy to have another church question for you, Jo has studies we've done on how best to protect church furnishings from bat droppings, etc. there is a huge amount of information on that website and LinkedIn from us, and they are doing a lot of research at the moment, like I say, to create, you know, places of worship that, that people can also use So, and it's ongoing, as well, listen to some webinars that they run themselves and others influence the Historic England run on this... is really good resources so I would encourage you to go to the website and there's a lot of really good information and contacts there.

Alice Ferguson:  Thank you, Jenifer, for the link in the chat. And few more minutes for few more questions, and I'll ask a question from Claire. If a roost is being accessed by hole in the roof, how do you deal with it, if the hole in the roof is causing damage to the building structure. That brings into question emergency repairs, if they are accessing the roost through hole in the roof. What they normally do is go to gap of 20ml. In an ordinary roof that is weather tight. No reasons, bats can't access a roof and it's whether tight. If it's letting whether in. And obviously we don't want a building to be suffering from damage from the weather. And doing a miner repair. That leads the roof weather type. And I think -- some species -- that will be a letter box gap. And they will generally be coming up and into a building. For example, through an old barn, and cattle sheds. And most of the bats in our cities, will be accessing tiny little gaps we don't even notice. And building cans be both weather tight. And we have been spoke tile. And fitted among other tiles and provides access for bats at the same time keeps the roof weather tight. And again, it isn't the question of either or, it's able to do this stuff. You know, people and bats living alongside each other, and plenty of solutions. If in doubt, please come to us, and provide that advice and support.

The last two questions from two different Rebecca's, will bats come back to a roost unoccupied for a time. And the other one, how do you determine bats are just visiting, they had a survey, carried out where that was stated. And just curious.

Jo:  Okay. So, bats use different roosting sites for different things. You can have, in an outbuilding, feeding roost, where bats might come and bring their food. And that beautiful poster. Is hunt moths and hang out somewhere. And get rid of the useless bits. And they might have a food roost. -- so, some of the language we use around roosts can occasionally be confusing. If bats -- are using a site for roosting or essential purpose for survive. That is protected. They may use different sites around the environment, and that could be threat predation. Maybe last time they were there. and they can get into a flat roof, something like that, they will pick that off and they can be incredibly damaging and that may mean that that think twice about using that risk
and changes in the environment can include the addition of lighting removal of hedgerows, things like that in the wider landscape. So it's hard to always know what's going on out there that might influence whether bats might need that risk sight or not, but the fact that they've used it once means that it provides some of the essential ingredients that they need to be able to survive and in the summer that's raising young, which is essential and in the winter that's being able to hibernate at a constant temperature over winter and to sleep out the time when there isn't food An impact on not just individual levellers but population, level. And so, if you know that previously, there was a bat roost there. Get updated surveys, could be something in the environment, that the roost is no longer viable for them. But that would be surveys, and divide ecologist, and whole area, -- lighting had been put in and it made it a site completely unsuitable that that is, that is not that likely and would need good solid evidence to back your argument up for that, if you were to if you would want to say that this roost is no longer in use.

Alice Ferguson: With that, that's all the time for questions. And if we haven't asked your question. I'm sorry, again, I recommend going to all the sites previously mentioned and I'll put them back in the links in the chat again. And so, before we end. I'll just pop on to the last slide. And just go through this. The next Historic England webinars. Yeah, 3 coming up. 22 October: COP26. And roles of arts and culture. And next, November 2. 2 November: Historic building climate change adaptation? And 9 of November. Tuesday 9 November: War memorials: Conservation of Inscriptions
 I just got an update, that one will be postponed. And just had an email during the webinar... A key colleague is very ill at the moment....And do keep in touch. We have a heritage account. And also like you to sign up for our technical conservation News. And going to put up a poll. If you joined before, or you're not sure if you've subscribed you can hit yes, they won't add you twice but if you're new to us today please, please do put yes, it's a really interesting read. It also links with the webinar page that we have so you can register for new events, and I will also then be able to send you invites and we'll add you to the mailing list for the separate registration for each of the webinars. one last thing. Are we have a couple links useful for you? The webinar link page, and webinar survey, we ask if you have a moment of time, you can fill in. And looking for feedback, both good and bad. And realise that technical issues come up. If it's related to closed captions or really appreciate those. And with that, would like to say good-bye to all the participants and thanks for attending today's webinar. And thank you for Jenifer and Jo for a really interesting webinar, and with that, ask everybody to exit the room, and ask Jenifer and Jo to hold on and say goodbye to you. Thank you.

Further guidance

Also of interest