Many bats use buildings for roosting, and it is vital for the future of our bat populations that any building alteration or maintenance work takes bats into account from the outset.
By taking bats into account prior to starting work you will:
- Minimise additional costs and delays relating to works scheduled
- Help to avoid disturbing bats or their roosts - avoiding the risk of prosecution and helping to conserve an important protected species.
This section of the website looks at some of the issues around bats and building maintenance that may be of help to the building industry and bat workers. These are all ongoing areas of work and will be regularly updated with progress. A summary of the information can be found in the Bats and Buildings leaflet at the bottom of the page.
- I am undertaking Building / Remedial Work
Information on the use of Pesticides / Timber Treatments
- Bats and Churches
Find out about the work BCT is doing on:
To investigate the potential impacts that breathable roofing membranes (BRMs) may be having on bats, the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) approached the University of Reading’s Technologies for Sustainable Built Environment (TSBE) Centre. From these initial talks a collaborative four year research partnership between the TSBE and BCT was established. Stacey Waring, the research engineer leading this work, completed her doctoral research in 2013. A summary of the main findings, with regards to bat entanglement in BRMs, can be found here.
It is known that bats use cavity walls as roosting sites during all seasons. The degree of importance per species and per season is difficult to discern due to the inaccessibility of the structure. Concerns about the carbon footprint of housing stock has led to even greater emphasis on having cavity walls insulated. This has given greater importance to understanding bats' use of cavity walls and identifying suitable mitigation measures where bat roosts are present.
If bats are present in a cavity wall that is scheduled to be filled with insulation a gap should be left for the bats. A difficulty is that leaving gaps in cavity wall insulation can mean that the work may not be subject to guarantee. However, the BBA (British Board of Agrément) has confirmed that partial filling of a gable wall is however allowed for blown-in EPS bead certificates, which commonly state:
3.3 Partial filling of the gable apex (i.e. limiting the fill to several brickwork courses above ceiling level) is permitted provided the top of the wall is protected by the roof and:
• the roof void is not an occupied space
• where the loft insulation is at ceiling level.
However, partial filling is outside the scope of BBA approval for blown-in mineral wool (MW) fibre certificates.
Therefore, where a bat roost is found, the property can still be insulated as per the above using EPS beads, but beware that EPS beads are installed using an adhesive, the toxicity of which to bats is not currently known.
Amendments to the Building Regulations in 2010, largely driven by the need to reduce the carbon footprint of building stock, has at times come into potential conflict with bat mitigation. Questions pertaining to the Building Regulations have been collected and a document prepared, for use by the building industry and bat workers, that attempts to clarify the situation. It is anticipated that document will undergo frequent updates as more situations that require clarification become apparent and as further anticipated amendments to the regulations occur. These changes to the Building Regulations have been implemented in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Access the new Building Regulations here.
Acess the new Approved Documents here.
BCT is aware that concerns have been rasied over the process for demolitions where they are not part of a planning application. Where this occurs an S80 demolition notice is completed by the applicant and an S81 issued by a Building Control Officer at the local authority. In most cases the S80 form supplied by the local authority does not include a question on protected species and therefore it would seem likely that in many cases the presence of bats could be overlooked.
NEWS: In a judgment delivered on 25 March 2011 the Court of Appeal decided that demolition constitutes a project under the terms of the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. This automatically meant that the directive in UK law which exempts the demolition of certain building types from requiring planning permission became unlawful.
The ruling will have major implications for planning
authorities. More info here.
To view or upload case studies of bat roost replacement or enhancement visit Roost.