Free bat advice service in England

In England, the Bat Conservation Trust’s National Bat Helpline administers the free advice service on behalf of Natural England.

It will really help if you can gather as much information as possible about the proposed work before you contact us, including the areas of the building that will be affected, the materials you plan to use, the length of time you expect it to take, and any specification or quote provided by your builder. You may also want to take a look at our ‘things to consider when planning works’ webpage so you have an idea of how your plans might fit in with the standard guidance.

Getting advice under Natural England’s free service will generally involve a volunteer visiting your roost to gather more information. The service relies on the generosity of these volunteers, who do this work in addition to full-time jobs and other commitments. Some areas have more volunteers and higher demand than others, so we can’t guarantee how long it will be before someone’s able to visit you. In rare cases, we may have to recommend you hire an ecological consultant if no volunteer is available.

Following the visit, you will receive advice (usually via email) from Natural England detailing how and when you can carry out the work in a safe and legal way. It’s important that you don’t begin work until you’ve received this. While the volunteer may tell you their recommendations during the visit, the official advice needs to be confirmed by Natural England.

Your advice will include dates when you can do the work. It’s only valid until the last date it gives for work has passed. If the work isn’t complete by then, or you need to do more work, you’ll need to contact us again for further advice.

Free visits and Covid-19

We are pleased to announce that from Tuesday 3rd May 2022 we can now organise in-person visits to the interior of eligible properties. If you are eligible for a visit, you will be asked if anyone due to be at the visit has recently tested positive for covid-19. If so, your visit must be postponed until at least 10 days after your positive test. You are welcome to contact us to make the arrangements in the meantime.

You will be asked to comply with some simple measure to help keep yourselves and Natural England's volunteers safe during the visit. You can find Natural England's covid-19 compliance measures in the below PDF.

The National Bat Helpline is only possible thanks to the generosity of people like you. This vital service helps thousands of people by providing advice for free, this in turn saves thousands of bats every year. Partial funding from Natural England helps cover some of our running costs, but it does not cover everything. Your donation will help ensure Bat Conservation Trust can continue to provide assistance and a lifeline for bats.

Click here for more information and to donate.

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