Bats in Roof Spaces

We recently undertook a Full Building Survey Inspection on a Period timber framed property in Farley Green, Surrey. The property dated back to the 15th Century. Whilst inspecting the roof space and taking photographs to show structural inadequacy and weakness to the timbers we noted that there were numerous droppings on the insulation and timbers; indicating that there was a bat colony. Bats are a protected species under the Wildlife & Countryside Act and it is therefore, illegal to harm or destroy any bats and that includes damaging or destroying their roosts. As remedial work will be required to the roof of this property, this will have to be undertaken during winter months when the bats will not be in the roof space. Liaison with English Nature or local Bat Conservation groups will need to be undertaken and our client has been informed of this accordingly.

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Normally we only see droppings indicating the presence of bats in a roof space. For the first time, totally inadvertently, the Surveyor noted a bat in one of the photographs that were taken, clearly indicating an active colony.

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It is important that where works are to be undertaken, a liaison is undertaken with English Nature, otherwise if bats are harmed then prosecutions can result in offenders having a criminal record.

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