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Licensing and Filming of Bats

The video of bats for this tutorial was made in Herefordshire, England. The Bat Conservation Trust consulted Natural England (NE) about licensing requirements for filming bats. Filming and photographing bats requires a licence whenever bats are to be disturbed.

NE advice was that no licence was necessary in this case. Care was taken not to disturb any bats, as it always should be when filming or photographing bats in the environment. Bright lights should not be shone directly at the animals, or especially at their roost entrances, for any period of time.

If filming or photographing within a roost or hibernacula, a licence is usually required. If in doubt please consult the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation for advice about license requirements.

Filming of volunteers was carried out when the ambient light levels were higher than would actually be the case when carrying out the survey for real. This was to make sure the techniques were clear but to avoid the need for excessive use of energy intensive lights.

Licences are not required to carry out NBMP field surveys with detectors. However please be careful when using torches in the field.








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Very powerful torches are readily available (1 million candlepower or more) but these are not recommended as they can disturb bat’s feeding patterns. Please use torches of under ½ million candlepower for safety and do not direct a torch continuously onto bats that are feeding as it may deter them. It will also impair your night vision which can be dangerous.


The Bat Conservation Trust retains intellectual copyright of the material contained in this tutorial.
Any unauthorised use will be considered a breach of that copyright.