Help and advice for churches with bats

Guidance on bats in churches

Various guidance notes exist to help church wardens understand how bats can affect plans for building projects. You can find out when you may require a European Protected Species (EPS) licence to carry out building work near a bat roost, and how to obtain such a licence.

Bat Helpline for churches

Churches in England are eligible for free bat advice provided by Natural England through the National Bat Helpline - 0345 1300 228. This advice, which can include a free roost visit by a trained volunteer, can be obtained in the following instances:

  • Bats are causing a nuisance inside the church
  • Renovation or small scale building work is planned
  • Grounded bats are found

The National Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228 can be contacted with other bat-related questions.

Ecological consultants

In some cases, where churches want to undertake complex building work, an independent professional ecological consultant may need to be employed. In much the same way that a church will pay an architect or building conservation expert to ensure building works are in keeping with heritage protection, sometimes an independent professional ecological consultant needs to be employed to ensure repairs and alterations safeguard nature and preserve the features that native species depend on for their survival.

For example the services of a professional ecological consultant may be required when the planned building work needs a licence. The Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) maintains a professional directory of ecological consultants.

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