Finding an ecological consultant

A free advice service is available through your Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation for minor works on dwellings where bats are present. Works to non-dwellings (except churches in England), more substantial work (such as loft conversions and extensions) or where planning permission is required, unfortunately fall outside the free visit service. An ecological consultant will need to be contracted instead.

Finding an Ecological Consultant

When hiring a consultant, we would recommend getting quotes from several different consultants as prices are not standardised and can vary. It’s also advisable to ask for the quote to be broken down so that you understand what the quote covers. A quote may cover just an initial survey, and it would be wise to enquire what the cost might be if further surveys or a licence were required. The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) have produced two publicly available guidance documents that you may wish to read before contacting ecological consultants.

  • A Householder’s Guide to Engaging an Ecologist - This document sets out broadly what is involved when a homeowner is required to submit an ecological survey as part of a planning application for a small-scale development.
  • What to Expect From a Bat Survey: A Guide for UK Homeowners - This document sets out broadly what is involved when a ‘bat survey and report’ is required in relation to small-scale development (householder planning applications) in the UK.

The CIEEM also have a searchable professional directory of ecological consultants. To search the directory:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select your area/country, enter your postcode and select a search distance from the drop-down list of options.
  2. To filter the search results to contain bat ecologists in your area only select Bat in the search filters for Species and Licences
  3. Click “Search” and your results will appear as pin points on a map and also as a list. The list is ordered in distance from the postcode used during the search (closest at the top).

You can also find ecological consultants through the ENDS Directory: www.endsdirectory.com

Sometimes members of local bat groups are ecological consultants, and this can be another way of finding an ecological consultant in your area. Your local bat group may also have information relating to any roosts in the bat boxes or trees that you are working with, and be interested to hear from you.