Case Study

Bat Survey in Chichester

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Chichester cathedralWe were recently contacted by a client in Chichester, West Sussex who found us online when looking for a company to provide a bat survey to help with their planning application. Our client wanted to renevate their property by adding skylights to the main building and converting some outbuildings into living space.

About the Area

This is just one of many bat surveys we have carried out in Chichester and surrounding areas including Bognor Regis, Portsmouth, Worthing and Brighton. Chichester is the only city in West Sussex and is located on the River Lavant. The South Downs are nearby and provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor pursuits. Chichester has more sunshine than most parts of the UK and generally has mild winters and cool summers.

Our bat expert from Chichester is Natalie Evans, a very experienced surveyor who specialises in bats as well as other species including birds and great crested newts. Natalie has been at Arbtech for years now, having fist started off working as a sub-contractor for us before becoming a full time member of the team. Although Natalie lives in Chichester she covers areas all over Sussex and sometimes even further afield if the need arises!

Survey Background

Our client had already had a scoping bat survey carried out by another company prior to instructing us which showed that further survey work was required because the development had a high potential for a bat roost. This was because of raised roof tiles on the main building which would have given the opportunity for bats to roost there. Whenever a ‘scoping’ bat survey is carried out and it shows that a potential bat roost is present or that there is evidence of bat activity, a bat emergence survey will be required.

What is a bat emergence survey?

An emergence survey is a more detailed survey than the initial scoping survey. It needs to be done between May and September because this is when bats can be frequently seen going to and from their roosts at dusk and dawn. An emergence survey usually requires multiple visits and more than 1 surveyor in order to observe all the areas where bats may be active. As you can imagine, this survey is also more expensive than a scoping survey, usually starting at around £799.

Our Survey

A brown long eared bat.

A brown long eared bat.

Natalie managed a small team of bat surveyors during the emergence surveys. 3 Separate visits were necessary for this project and the visits were done in August and September. On each visit to the site, Natalie and the team recorded a significant amount of bat activity. On the first day, common pipistrelle bats were seen emerging from the eaves on the northern elevation of the building. A Leisler’s bat was seen feeding in the garden and a brown long eared bat and a serotine bat were seen passing through the area. On another area of the site, more common pipistrelle bats were seen emerging from a ridge behind the chimney.

On the follow up surveys, spaced nearly 1 month apart, similar activity was recorded by all the species previously identified. Following on from the surveys, Natalie prepared a report with everything she had recorded clearly explained. The report concluded that the development would have an impact on bat roosts and Natalie recommended that works could be carried out on the site during summer months under a European Protected Species Licence once granted from Natural England. Natalie also made recommendations for the erection of bat boxes to provide an alternative roost for the bats.

What is a European Protected Species Licence?

A European Protected Species Licence is a licence granted by Natural England which grants the holder permission to carry out work that would otherwise be a criminal offence. This licence can be granted if you can demonstrate that the work is unavoidable or in the public interest. A licence can be applied for by using an ecologist to write a method statement that explains what will be done to minimise detrimental effects on the species.

What Happened Next?

Arbtech have in house expertise in obtaining EPSL’s for our clients and we have completed over 150 licence applications since 2012, with all of them being a success. This case was no different and following our licence application our client was granted a licence, enabling them to go ahead with their development.

Customer Feedback

Scoping Bat Survey (Walkover)

Very professional, efficient and helpful. No hidden surprises. We were told what we needed to supply, when the appointment was and how much it would cost...half the price of the first company we had rung! Natalie was lovely and extremely knowledgeable, not to mention prompt....

5 stars
Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey

BRILLIANT service! Fast and efficient with great communication throughout the process. Would certainly recommend. Thank you

5 stars
Phase 1 Habitat Survey

Following a requirement for a Phase 1 Habitat Survey on a proposed site for a new cemetery we contacted Arbtech. Very impressed with the arrangements and survey conducted with a couple of week's notice. Survey report provided on the same day as the survey was...

5 stars

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Our Story

Arbtech was founded by Robert Oates in 2005 and has grown to become the UK's leading ecological consultancy. Whether you need an expert bat survey or a fast tree survey, the reason to choose us is pretty simple. Over the last 13 years, we have strived to build a company that we think you would actually like to do business with!

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