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Roost Visitor Training

Bat roost visiting is one of the most important activities carried out by volunteer bat workers. It is suggested that a householder with a roost in their house consults the appropriate Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO) before taking any action against the bats or their roost, in order that they don't break the law and take the bats into account. The SNCO (Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland Enviornment Agency) is usually consulted before the householder carries out any activities that may affect the bats, for example, timber treatment, roof repairs or cavity wall insulation.

On these occasions, the SNCO will contact a local Roost Visitor, who will visit the householder. They collect information for the SNCO on the species, the structure and the proposed plans, and also provide a valuable service by educating the householder about their bats.

 Brown long-eared bats roosting against a beam

To become a roost visitor, you must undertake a scheme of training under a licensed trainer in order to gain a Roost Visitor (Conservation) licence (in England this is now called a volunteer bat roost visitor class licence). Most bat groups have one or more trainers, who are licensed to train unlicensed trainees in some or all of the activities covered under the licence. The training can take appoximately two years with the trainee requiring both theory (e.g. bat biology and ecology) and practical experience (being able to identify whether bats are present including the species and the type of roost, giving advice on different issues and communicating effectively with the public).

The Bat Workers Manual is an essential tool for anyone training for a roost visitor licence.

The first step for those who are interested in training for this type of licence should join their local bat group, get involved with activities and projects that the group are involved with a find out who the trainers are within the group.

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Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228