Bat Survey in Edinburgh: Bat Reports to Benefit Planning

Covering Edinburgh and other areas across Scotland, our team of bat consultants can provide a wide range of bat surveys and additional protected species surveys to assist with obtaining planning permission.

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Species of Bats Across Edinburgh

Best known for cobbled streets, extraordinary views, hilly surfaces and unique architecture, Edinburgh is an iconic city in Scotland with plenty to offer. A hub of culture, the world’s first circulating library was created in the city, and it was also where the first-ever copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was published. Both local residents and visiting writers such as Ian Rankin, Irvine Welsh and Robert Louis Stevenson were inspired by the city during the creation of literary works, and the openness to creativity led to numerous annual events, such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Containing more listed buildings than anywhere in the world, 112 parks and more trees per head than any other city in the UK, Edinburgh boasts a thriving mix of developed and authentic qualities. A large portion of the city is rural, with 49.2% classed as green space, making it one of the greenest cities in the UK. Through plentiful natural locations, various protected species are able to choose cities like Edinburgh as a suitable destination for creating a habitat, and in addition to that, depending on the animal in question, even buildings and other structures may be viable.

A list of animals and plants was provided within applicable legislation to outline the rare or valuable species that require additional protective measures. Climate, habitat suitability and opportunities for available prey all play a role in determining whether a given location would suffice. Alternatively, the wide range of bat species present throughout the country are common in all regions, including Edinburgh and other areas of Scotland. The immeasurable impact bats can inflict on planning projects can trigger any number of issues, and as such, developers are advised to arrange a bat survey to support their development plans.

Groups for Defending Bats

In order to ensure that bats are adequately safeguarded, local and national community groups and organisations are in place. On a national scale, protection for bats is available in the form of intervention from the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). As for local protective measures, each area throughout the UK has a group with jurisdiction over the local vicinity. Specifically looking at Edinburgh, assistance with bats will be provided by the Lothians Bat Group (LBG).

Among the LBG’s many duties and exercises are to educate the public on bats, jump in on any issues relating to bats, maintain an updated understanding of factors that could impact bats or how they are protected, manage talks and walks, keep records of bat populations, and answer any relevant questions that residents may have. More than anything, if someone within the group’s jurisdiction found an injured bat, the LBG would offer crucial support in looking after the bat.

Inspections on Present Bats

The presence of protected species on a development site will trigger the requirement for corresponding ecological surveys, such as badger surveys, great crested newt surveys, water vole surveys and assessments for a wide range of other species. As it is against the law to deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat, bat surveys are crucial any time a bat or bat roost is suspected or proven to be on a development site. To inform planning, the first stage of the bat survey process is known as a preliminary roost assessment (PRA) and involves a full examination of the specific plot of land.

On a date chosen by the developer based on our availability, an ecological surveyor will attend the site and use the PRA as an opportunity to search for signs of inhabiting bats, such as bat roosts, droppings, prey remains or features that would be applicable for roosting. Even if no bats or bat roosts are found and the ecologist believes that they may occupy the site at some point in the year, further bat surveys will be needed. Alternatively, it can be confirmed that no bats are in the vicinity and the local planning authority can be given the green light to accept planning permission, but if this is not possible, a bat emergence and re-entry survey (BERS) will be the likely next step in the process.

Across multiple visits to the site between May and September, several ecologists will monitor entry and exit points to record bat species and population numbers. Information taken from the assessments can then uncover vital details about the level of bat occupancy and assist the eventual decisions of the bat consultants. All of the guidance from the bat surveys will be detailed at length in the bat report, and as long as all of the parameters have been addressed, the completed report can be passed on to the local planning authority, leaving them with no reason to deny the planning application.

Contact Our Bat Consultancy Now

From small developments managed by homeowners to much larger projects involving the creation of wind farms or commercial, industrial or corporate buildings, our team of ecological surveyors have seen it all and provided assistance to countless developments in Edinburgh and wider Scotland, within the Central Belt and beyond. The wide range of ecological surveys and protected species surveys we provide extends to bat surveys, giving our clients the foresight they need to satisfy the local planning authorities.

Before you decide to move forward with Arbtech as your provider of bat surveys, reach out to us over the phone, online or via our contact page and we can formulate a free quote based on the details of your site and project. If you are happy with the quotation we send across, let us know and we can work out when a suitable date would be to visit your site and undertake the necessary bat surveys. Immediately after the bat survey has concluded, the ecological surveyor will put the bat report together, and with it, you will be able to obtain planning consent from the local planning authority that holds jurisdiction over your area.

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