12th July 2007

Bat Conservation Trust launches guidelines on bat surveys

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) has launched the much-anticipated Bat Surveys - Good Practice Guidelines, that provides guidance on how and when to survey for bats, covering a range of different scenarios. It will help to ensure these threatened mammals are better assessed and taken into account.

There are 17 bat species in the UK. All bats and their roosts are protected by law, as a result of dramatic declines in recent decades - largely due to loss of habitat. Bat Surveys - Good Practice Guidelines provides a guide to the type and level of survey required for different habitats, such as buildings, trees, bridges and barns, in order to adequately ascertain their use by bats before any work is undertaken.

The guidelines were developed with input from many experts in the field. They are the result of a series of workshops and consultations to gather knowledge and gain consensus about survey methodology and effort required to have confidence in a survey's results.

Amy Coyte, chief executive of BCT, said: "I am delighted to be launching these much-needed guidelines. The practical implementation of bat conservation is evolving rapidly, and it is crucial to have quality control in the standard of bat surveys undertaken where development or land use proposals have the potential to impact on bats. We hope this will contribute to routine high quality bat surveys that benefit bat conservation."

"We are fortunate in the UK to have a wealth of experience among dedicated bat workers and this publication represents a truly collaborative effort. These guidelines would never have been possible without their goodwill, and enthusiasm."

Richard Graves, Director of Ecology at consultants Faber Maunsell, who sponsored the publication said: "The long awaited and much needed Bat Surveys - Best Practice Guidelines now provide a platform for the construction industry and bat surveyors to properly assess the impacts of developments on bat roosts. They are essential for those who procure, undertake and specify bat surveys, providing an industry standard for the first time and a level playingfield for all consultants. Developed with input from experts in the field, the guidelines provide the best current thinking on bat surveys."

The guidelines are available from the Professional Guidance page of this website. The printed version of the publication is available at http://www.nhbs.com/. The RRP is £19.99. Members of the Bat Conservation Trust will receive a 50% discount on the cover price.