Initial Surveys

Spalding Associates are commonly asked for Bat and Barn Owl surveys on buildings, typically from clients that have been instructed by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The LPA's have a tick list of features and if one or more of these features are present within your proposed development they will request an initial bat survey, typically in conjunction with a Barn Owl survey. The tick list includes the conversion, modification, demolition or removal of buildings which are:

  • agricultural buildings of traditional brick or stone construction
  • buildings with weather boarding and/or hanging tiles that are within 200m of woodland and/or water;
  • pre-1960 detached buildings and structures within 200m of woodland and/or water;
  • pre-1914 buildings within 400m of woodland and/or water;
  • pre-1914 buildings with gable ends or slate roofs, regardless of location;
  • located within, or immediately adjacent to woodland and/or immediately adjacent to water;
  • Dutch barns or livestock buildings with a single skin roof and board-and-gap or Yorkshire boarding if, following a preliminary roost assessment the site appears to be particularly suited to bats.

The initial bat survey consists of our licensed bat ecologist searching all areas of the built structure with the aid of ladders, binoculars and torches for signs of past or present use by bats. Whilst on the site he/she will also make an assessment as to whether the site has potential to support bats. Following this initial survey a formal report will be written to support your planning application.

We have a very simple pricing system dependent on the scale of the proposed development and can quickly provide a quote. Just call us on 01872 272711 or email

Follow-up Surveys

At approximately 1 in 4 sites there is the requirement for further survey work. At Spalding Associates we pride ourselves in being able to keep follow-up surveys to a minimum by adherence to the professional code of conduct of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), and by acknowledging guidance issued by Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust. However, extra surveys may be necessary due to inconclusive signs of bat habitation (such as degraded droppings) or the presence of high quality potential bat habitat that cannot be assessed during the initial survey. This can be a particular problem when initial surveys are performed during winter months when bats are hibernating.

These follow-up surveys typically take the form of a dusk emergence survey comprising trained bat surveyors with ultrasonic bat detectors observing the building for up to a period of 2 hours after dusk in an attempt to observe bats leaving, and sometimes re-entering a roost.