The information below is the latest best practice guidance developed by and provided for industry. Unfortunately BCT does not have the resources to get involved in individual planning cases that may involve lighting and bats, therefore we cannot respond to these type of enquiries either by email or over the phone. However, because of this we have compiled comprehensive guidance to support concerned members of the public in taking the appropriate action to protect bats. Please visit our general lighting webpages for more information and https://www.bats.org.uk/advice/development-concerns-1 to download the planning and development advice pack.
Bats and artificial lighting guidance note (2018)
The Bat Conservation Trust in partnership with the Institution for Lighting Professionals (ILP) and Clarkson & Woods ecological consultants have published the latest practical guidance on considering the impact upon bats when designing lighting schemes.
The guidance note supersedes the previous 2009 guidance and goes into depth about lighting levels and colour temperature impacts on different bat species. It is intended to raise awareness of the impacts of artiﬁcial lighting on bats but also the potential solutions to avoid and reduce this harm.
It has been written by a panel of experts representing BCT, ILP and ecologists. Since the publishing of the 2009 edition there has been an increase in the knowledge of our UK bat species, of which there are now 18 recorded species and a considerable amount of research done on impacts but also mitigation measures.
Eurobats guidance on bats and artificial light (2018)
In October 2018 new Eurobats guidance on bats and artificial lighting was published. This was drafted by a panel of experts including BCT and uses the currently available research and knowledge to look at solutions to avoid, mitigate and compensate the negative impacts of artificial light. It is broad international guidance that complements the nationally drafted BCT / ILP guidance (above).
Bats and Artificial Lighting Symposium 2019
In 2019 it was five years since the first BCT symposium looking at the impacts of artificial lighting on bats and other wildlife. Therefore on 21st May 2019, BCT and their partners brought together experts from academia, the lighting industry and conservation to share their updated learning and experiences of best practice in terms of lighting and its impact on bats.
We were delighted to have Prof. Kevin Gaston (http://kevingaston.com/) Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation at University of Exeter as our keynote. Prof. Gaston is a natural scientist with in depth experience in leading, managing, and conducting basic, strategic and applied research on a range of environmental issues presently facing humanity, including the impacts of artificial lighting on a range of taxa and habitats.
The symposium then featured sharing of knowledge and best practice via a series of presentations. As with previous built environment symposia, we were looking for attendance from a diverse audience representing a cross section of the industries involved in lighting and wildlife within the built environment and encouraged networking throughout our breaks and lunchtime.
PROCEEDINGS from this event can now be downloaded free here.
Any questions about the event, please contact BCT's Built Environment Manager, Jo Ferguson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional reference documents and websites:
- Guidance Note for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light (ILP)
- Domestic exterior lighting: getting it right (ILP)
- Buglife review on the Impact of Artificial Light on Invertebrates
- LIFE + Life at Night project
Artificial Light and Wildlife Symposium 2014:
An interim guidance note was been produced following the outputs from the 2014 European Symposium.
Bats and Lighting: overview of current evidence and mitigation
BCT worked with researchers at the University of Bristol to develop a comprehensive overview of current evidence and mitigation for bats. This publication is now available.
What else are we doing?
Since 2018 when the BCT / ILP best practice guidance was released there has been a considerable amount of new academic and industry research; BCT are chairing a steering group with representatives from the ILP and industry practitioners and have begun updating the best practice guidance document. This will be published at a technical symposium launch event, which will cover the the major changes, in autumn 2022.