Bats Surveys in East Anglia

All bats are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) through inclusion on Schedule 5. They are also protected under schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats & Co.) Regulations 1994.

This makes it an offence amongst others to:

  • Intentionally or deliberately kill, injure or capture (take) bats;
  • Deliberately disturb bats (whether in a roost or not);
  • Damage, destroy or obstruct access to bat roosts;

A bat roost is regarded as “any structure or place which any wild animal…uses for shelter or protection”. As bats tend to re-use the same roosts, legal opinion is that the roost is protected whether or not the bats are present at the time.

Bat Survey Expertise

Philip Parker Associates have undertaken over 500 bat surveys in the past 6 years, with particular expertise the following areas:

  • Churches: Philip Parker Associates are currently working on behalf of a number of architects in East Anglia and on behalf of Natural England in North Yorkshire. Ecological assessments are carried out to assess the impact of bats on a development and to determine a pragmatic solution to facilitate required Stage 1 repair works. These include; detailed emergence and return to roost surveys (to provide detailed information on how the bats are using the church), preparation of detailed mitigation programmes and the issuing of advice on how to reduce the impacts of problem colonies.
  • Barns and houses: Initial physical surveys are used to determine the likelihood of bats using the structure, and any potential roosting areas.  If required, emergence and return to roost surveys are used to clarify where bats are roosting and how they are using the structure. These surveying techniques are vital for developing mitigation schemes that can facilitate development works and obtain planning permission.
  • Tree surveys: Assessment of bat roosting potential from the ground, assessment of trees from a high-level (using qualified climbers) and supervision of tree works using `soft felling’ techniques.
  • Foraging surveys: Assessment of the importance of foraging routes of bats.

The following equipment is used during bat surveys:

Infra-red cameras, Clulite CB2 torches, extending ladders, SeeSnake endoscope, Bat Box Duet detectors and Edirol R03 digital recorders, Anabat remote detetors, Bat Sound Software.

Case Studies

Please see our Case Studies page for information on selected past projects, which include videos using our specialist infra-red equipment, highlighting how bats use a variety of roosts in different building types.


A European Protected Species licence is required from Natural England where the proposed development would result in an otherwise unlawful activity. In the case of this development, this could result from:
a. The killing or disturbance of a bat;
b. Damage, destruction or obstruction of any place used for shelter or protection by a bat;

Philip Parker Associates have obtained EPS licences for a number of clients to allow development that would otherwise be unlawful under legislation to proceed. As part of obtaining a licence, it is essential to develop a mitigation scheme to the satisfaction of Natural England that maintains the status of the species in the local area.

Want to know more?

Because of the complexity of physical bat surveys, these are normally priced on a time basis. The normal range of costs for a survey in Norfolk would be £300 – £500 (including expenses) plus VAT. The requirement for further emergence and return to roost surveys (as set out in the Bat Conservation Trust survey guidelines) can be costed more precisely once the physical survey is complete.

If you would like to discuss any bat issues you may have or to discuss advice on a proposed development, please contact us on 01553 630842.