Free advice service from SNCOs

You may qualify for advice from your country’s Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO) if you meet the following criteria:

  • The building is a dwelling house or, in England only, an active place of worship. (Blocks of flats, outbuildings, and commercial or public buildings are not typically covered.)
  • You’re planning minor repairs, maintenance or pest control.
  • The work does not require any level of planning permission (though there is an exception in England for churches that need to replace stolen lead).
  • You are experiencing issues related to the bat roost which cannot be resolved by following our online advice

The following works are not typically covered by the free advice services:

  • Extensions
  • Loft conversions
  • Demolition of all or part of a building
  • Large programmes of work (e.g., a housing association doing maintenance to many houses)
  • Complete re-roofs, or replacement of more than one roof of a church (unless this is because the lead has been stolen), in England. Visits are offered for full re-roofs to dwellings in Wales.
  • Conversion of a building from one use to another

If you don’t qualify for free advice from your SNCO, you should hire an ecological consultant instead. Your SNCO may also decide, after initial investigations, that a piece of work is too complicated to advise you on, or is likely to require a licence which cannot be obtained via their service. You will also need to hire a consultant in that case for further surveys and support.

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