In summary, you may commit a criminal offence if you:
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat;
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats;
- Damage or destroy the breeding or resting place (roost) of a bat;
- Possess a bat (alive or dead), or any part of a bat;
- Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost.
This is only a brief summary of the main points of the law, not a complete statement. Further details may be found on www.naturalengland.org.uk
It is always preferable to avoid disturbing bats or damaging their roosts if at all possible. That way no offence is likely to be committed and you help with the conservation of these threatened species.
One situation in which a licence is likely to be needed is where repairs, refurbishment or development within or adjacent to your property, such as a loft conversion or extension, will unavoidably damage or destroy bat roosts. In these circumstances, you should still seek advice from Natural England, but we are likely to recommend that you employ a professional ecological consultant to assist you with the licensing process.
Natural England Wildlife Management and Licensing Service Burghill Road Westbury-on-Trym Bristol, BS10 6NJ Tel: 0845 6014523
1 East Parade Sheffield, S1 2ET
Enquiry Service: 0845 600 3078
Bat Conservation Trust
15 Cloisters House
8 Battersea Park Road
London, SW8 4BG
National Bat Helpline: 0845 1300 228
Visit the LINKS page for more information.