COVID-19 & Bat Surveys
Following the current Government guidance regarding social distancing and safe working practices, FALCO Ecology have incorporated procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and our clients. We are undertaking internal inspections on residential buildings that are occupied; however, we ask that loft hatches are open prior to any roof void inspections and that clients remain in another room during the surveys. We are following the 2m social distancing rule where ever possible. Surveyors will use a respirator mask, wear disposable gloves and either wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser prior to entering any occupied building. Prior to any survey, we will ask if any member of the household are shielding, has been requested to self-isolate or are showing symptoms of coronavirus and if they are then we are unable to undertake a survey. Furthermore, we will not be undertaking work if these apply to any of our staff or sub-contractors.
All bats are fully protected under EU Law and as such are a European Protected Species (EPS). This is translated into UK Law under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU exit) Regulations 2019, which make it an offence to deliberately capture, injure or kills any wild animal of a EPS, deliberately disturb wild animals of any such species or damages or destroys a breeding site (maternity roost) or resting place (day/transitional/hibernation) of such an animal.
Local Planning Authorities, as part of their duty under the National Planning Policy Framework are required regard impacts on biodiversity to validate a planning application. The LPA will request a bat survey (Preliminary Roost Assessment / Bat Risk Assessment) when a planning application will alter the roof or change the environmental conditions within the roof void, such as heating ducts, or the site is present within an area of optimal foraging habitat for bats. The proposed developments that generally require a bat survey include the following:
Residential & Commercial Developments;
Tree limb pruning;
New road & rail layouts; and
Gas & Water Pipeline Installations.
A Preliminary Roost Assessment, also known as a Bat Risk Assessment, will involve an internal and external inspection of the structures that have the potential to be impacted, both directly and indirectly by the proposed development. In many cases the presence of bats can be concealed within the roof or cavity wall. Further roost surveys may be needed to fully assess the presence or absence of bat roosts within a structure. Our bat surveys and reports follow the Bat Conservation Trust (2016) Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines, 3rd Ed.
A survey licence is generally required to undertake a bat survey as disturbance may be a possibility. At FALCO Ecology our staff hold appropriate licenses to complete bat surveys for proposed developments and as part of construction works. We undertake the following bat surveys:
Preliminary Roost Assessment (Bat Risk Assessment) – including loft spaces;
Preliminary Ground Level Roost Assessments;
Activity (transect) Surveys; and
Roost (Emergence and Return) Surveys.
We use a high definition thermal camera and an infrared camera to assist with finding potential roosts during bat surveys, saving both time and money. Our thermal camera meets the specifications set out in the new Thermal Imaging Bat Survey Guidelines (2019). Adrian is a competent camera operator and thermal imaging analyser.
“Falco Ecology were excellent from start to finish, from the initial phone call, where they clearly explained what needed to be done, to the full and comprehensive report that was provided in a matter of days. They were also great value for money compared to other quotes I received. I cannot recommend them enough.” James Quigley – Residential Customer.
We undertake bat surveys (Preliminary Roost Assessment / Bat Risk Assessment) nationally and throughout the local area including Newcastle, Gosforth, North Shields, South Shields, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool, Consett, Blanchland, Corbridge, Hexham, Ponteland, Cramlington, Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth, Alnwick, Rothbury, Haydon Bridge, Haltwhistle, Carlisle, Stanhope, Alston, Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Northallerton, Yarm, Thirsk, Middlesborough, South Tyneside, County Durham, Northumberland, Teeside, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.