Hundreds of Genuine 5-Star Reviews for Our Dorset Bat Survey Team
Bordering the English Channel Coast, Dorset’s municipal authority areas include Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. With tourist attractions like Corfe Castle, the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove to name just a few, it’s no wonder Dorset has Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a variety of nationally important landscapes.
The county has the highest percentage of conservation areas in South West England and is widely regarded as the ‘wildlife capital’ of the UK. This is because the scope of associated species and their habitats is exceptionally rich, taking in more than 80% of all British mammal species, 70% of butterflies and nearly half of all bird species. The UK’s most abundant grid squares for mammals and vascular plants are also both found in Dorset’s AONBs.
Dorset’s Biodiversity and Locally Important Wildlife
Biodiversity is a fundamental determiner of what constitutes an AONB. Dorset is remarkably rich in certain habitats and species: lowland heathland, meadows and forests especially. Cranborne Chase, for example, covers 380 square miles and offers a variety of habitats for many animal species, from the brown hare to goshawks and butterflies.
It’s also relatively free from light pollution and is designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve, which is very important for wildlife that can be easily disturbed or even permanently dispersed by light pollution – e.g. bats. In fact, as Dorset is generally warmer and gentler than most of the country, it emerges as providing an excellent climate for roosting bats.
An exceptional county for bats – boasting all 17 breeding bat species native to the UK – Dorset’s chiropteran inhabitants include the noctule bat, serotine bat, common pipistrelle bat, soprano pipistrelle bat, and the Daubenton’s bat.
Local Bats and Other Wildlife in Dorset
The noctule bat is the UK’s largest bat and one of the earliest to emerge, often before dusk. It has a large wingspan, meaning it can fly fast and high in search of food during the night. Another large bat is the serotine – the second largest species present in the UK. It is most regularly found in roof spaces, gable ends or chimney breasts. Although common in the county of Dorset, it is not present in the north of the UK.
The Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized bat and is also known as the ‘water bat.’ It can be seen skimming gracefully within a few inches of surface water, with 15 confirmed bat roosts of the species in Dorset, mostly in trees and stone buildings. The pipistrelle bat is the smallest of the species present in the UK, but the most common with an estimated population of two million. Like the serotine bat, it is also one of the most recorded roosting bats in houses. It has a habit of squeezing between roof tiles without homeowners being aware they are even there.
Safeguarding of Native Bats
To help preserve the local bat population, the Dorset Bat Group play a key role to help document and protect the bats of the county. They carry out assessments, bat roost visits, and talks with the public, raising awareness of the roosting bats in the area and how to protect them. One programme that is designed to help report the bats in the county is the Bats in the Belfry project.
The Bats in the Belfry project is part of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network, working alongside Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Living Churchyards for the Benefit of Wildlife. Over 100 parishes are involved in the project, many of which are located in urban areas where bats have never been recorded. On a broader scale, Natural England regulate European protected species across the country, and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) focuses solely on bat species.
On-Site Bat Inspections
During any building, renovation or landscaping work, you can do your bit to help protect the roosting bats of Dorset by having bat surveys carried out by a professional ecologist using the latest good practice guidelines from Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). Applying to private, residential and commercial developers, this will also go in your favour towards securing the full planning permission you require. The bat surveys will consist of a phase 1 survey (Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA)), where an ecologist will come and do a walkover of the area in question and check for any signs of a bat roost. Evidence of bats typically includes bat droppings, the remains of prey, and small cavities or holes in buildings, roofs or trees that they can crawl into.
Whenever there is evidence of bats present, a low cost bat survey known as a phase 2 bat survey (Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Surveys (BERS) / Bat Emergence Surveys / Bat Activity Surveys) will be triggered, where the ecologist will come out inside of the seasonal constraints within the optimal time between May and September at dusk or dawn to monitor whether there are any bats flying in and out of the location. The BERS survey involves ecologists walking a set route throughout the site and monitoring the area, both with the naked eye and highly specialised equipment. Not only does this include automated bat detectors, but also echolocation equipment to listen for the sounds of bats feeding, and infrared and thermal imaging cameras to record bat activity.
Work with the Experts on Bats
Led by good practice guidelines, based on the advice of Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) and carried out by experienced ecologists, our bat surveys provide an overall picture of the development site and any set locations involved in your planning project, as well as a bat mitigation strategy and method statement to avoid delays and maintain a constant speed in even the largest or most elaborate of development proposals.
Using the guidance and support of our ecological consultants based in Dorset, you should see no problem in meeting bat survey requirements to acquire a successful planning application. We can also help with putting forward a bat licence application as part of your bat mitigation strategy if surveys conducted on the site indicate that socialising bats need to be relocated or a bat roost needs to be destroyed. Our survey work doesn’t solely lie with roosting bats either, as we offer a number of European protected species surveys, such as for great crested newts.
Receive a Preliminary Roost Assessment / Bat Emergence Survey Quote
If you suspect that you may have a bat roost in your home or garden – whether you envisage low potential, moderate potential or high potential based on your own results from an internal or external inspection – reach out to Arbtech for a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA), Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Survey (BERS) or other applicable further surveys for bats in Dorset.
As our ecologists offer bat surveys and various other ecological services, the right place to start would be through calling us directly, filling in the quote form at the bottom of this page to provide information about your project, or choosing from the other communication options on our ‘contact us‘ page. We can then advise you at an early stage to benefit your works schedule and offer you a free quote based on our affordable prices for bat activity surveys and other required services before booking in a suitable time to visit your site.