Scoping Bat Survey (Walkover)

Sometimes called a scoping bat survey, initial assessment or walkover, this type of bat survey is done in daylight hours and therefore can be undertaken at any time of year.

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From £299

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Your local planning authority has asked you for a bat survey because, over the last century, populations and ranges of bats of all species have exhibited a steady decline. There is a significant and growing volume of research that suggests this issue lies squarely at the feet of high quality habitats being lost to development.

Arbtech’s licenced bat surveyors have an enormous wealth of experience when it comes to providing bat surveys for planning purposes. This is why, for your initial walkover assessment — often called a scoping bat survey — as well as being fast, efficient and unbeatable value, we guarantee that your local authority will accept our report, so you never have to worry.

In addition to the fantastic level of speed and service you get from Arbtech as standard, we are able to offer several ‘trade-ups’ for customers who are really ‘up against it’, including weekend appointments and a next working day repot service.

Like most things planning related, bat surveying is not rocket science. However, it still demands a very significant investment in time to build up the requisite knowledge of the nature and biology of Chiroptera (bat) species, to say nothing of the in-the-field experience required to gain a survey licence from Natural England or the Countryside Council for Wales. For this reason, all of our bat surveyors are Bachelors or Masters degree-qualified and have undergone a rigorous in house training programme designed to expose the surveyor to a wide variety of complex site issues across a range of species. Moreover, we are the only company in the industry to provide our team with a genuinely unlimited CPD budget.

What does this mean for you? It means our friendly experts that visit your site and write your reports are professors of all things bat; intimately familiar with all of the latest survey techniques, technology and guidance to ensure minimal planning risk and maximal speed.

This year alone, each surveyor in our ecology team will spend over 1200hrs surveying bats throughout the UK. Because of our scale and geographical reach, we’ve always got surveys happening in your area. This means we can act fast and provide the best value possible.

Whether it’s seeking more information about a specific issue, or simply increasing your background knowledge, if you want to know more about bat surveys, below we have a summary of the ‘need to know’ as well as a fairly comprehensive set of resources for you to explore by following the links at the bottom of the page.

Much More…

Bats are protected by various statues throughout the United Kingdom. These various legal instruments are summarised in the table below (Source: Arbtech):

Location of Roost Transposing EC Habitats Directive Other Relevant Legislation Planning Policy
England Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended.Countrywide and Rights of Way Act 2000.Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”).
Wales Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended.Countrywide and Rights of Way Act 2000.Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Technical Advice Note (“TAN”) 5.
Scotland Conservation (Natural Habitat & c.) Regulations 1994 as amended. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended.The Nature conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. National Planning Policy Guidance (“NPPG”) 14 and Planning Advice Note (“PAN”) 60.

Cumulatively, this legislation makes it illegal to:

  • Intentionally or deliberately kill, injure or capture bats
  • Deliberately disturb bats, whether at roost or not
  • Damage, destroy or obstruct access to bat roosts
  • Possess or transport a bat or any part of a bat, unless acquired legally
  • Sell, barter or exchange bats, or any part of a bat

To satisfy to your local authority that your development application does not pose any risk to bats or their roosting places, you will need to demonstrate bat presence or absence with some scientific validity. This is ordinarily undertaken by a licenced ecologist and commonly comprises a daylight inspection of your buildings or trees, both internal and external, as access allows for – the scoping bat survey. If your ecologist cannot confirm the complete absence of bats, evidence of their activity and suitable habitat, it is fairly normal for your local authority ask you for a bat emergence survey. However, in the happy majority of instances, a scoping survey is as far as the process needs to go.

Internal Resources

See for yourself what renowned (in the bat world) Doctoral Researcher, Stacy Waring thinks of our internal resources:


External Resources

When can this survey be done?

Jan January - yes
Feb February - yes
Mar March - yes
Apr April - yes
May May - yes
Jun June - yes
Jul July - yes
Aug August - yes
Sep September - yes
Oct October - yes
Nov November - yes
Dec December - yes


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Recent Reviews

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Fast efficient service, will definitely use again. Will Barralet, Owen Ellis Architects

Very good service

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Booked on the 19th November for a survey on the 22nd but got it done on the 20th because of a cancellation. Report received the ...Read More

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Excellent service - Natalie was very professional and personable. Survey was provided only 3 days after site visit.

Its great to see the efficiency of service

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...especially when most of our clients are always wanting these supporting surveys/reports done quickly. Arbtech are always available to run through anything with either ourselves ...Read More