Frequently Asked Questions

I've found an injured or grounded bat - what do I do with it?

Call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228. If there are cats around or the bat is in further danger, wear gloves and place the bat in a cardboard box with a tissue or a piece of cloth in one corner and a shallow lid with water (e.g. from a milk bottle) so the bat can drink. Punch small holes in the lid to allow air into the box, and keep it in a warm place until help comes. For more information see http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/containingabat.html.

I've got bats in my house, what should I do?

If you would like any information or advice, contact the National Bat Helpline or call them on 0345 1300 228. They will be able to identify the number and species of bats in your roost, as well as helping with any questions or concerns you may have.

If you want to undertake building work or timber treatment, the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228, can will send a volunteer to check whether your roof is currently being used by bats. They will then advise you of the best time of year to have the work carried out, so as to cause minimal disturbance to the bats.

I'm a builder or a roofing contractor, what are my legal responsibilities regarding bats?

It is a criminal offence to...

  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
  • Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost

Therefore you will need to contact the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228, who will send around a volunteer to check whether your roof is currently being used by bats. They will then advise you of the best time of year to have the work carried out, so as to cause minimal disturbance to the bats.

How do I get involved and become a member?

See the join page.

Do I see the same bat in my garden each night or year?

Pipistrelles are the commonest bats in gardens - they have a twisting, aerobatic flight. Most bats have a 'home range' (equivalent to a human's shopping area, shared with others) rather than a territory (equivalent to a human's house and garden, not shared). Like human shoppers, several bats will collect food in the same area; however because where insects fly is weather-dependent (they get blown out of windy areas and stay in calm ones), and because different insects are available at different time of year, bats will move hunting areas to where the insects are. Radio-tracking studies often show a bat going back to the same area several days in succession and then switching to a different one. Because they roost together, individuals can follow others which having found a good hunting ground (rooks do the same).

Most bats (including pipistrelles) can live for 15 years or more, though the average is about 5 years, so they could be the same bats. In general young female bats tend to join the same roosts as their mothers, though males move around more. However, since bats go to where the food is, a reliable food source such as a pond will tend to attract bats even if they are not the same ones.

A property next to mine is being developed and I'm concerned that this will disturb the bats that I regularly see flying around there.

When a site where there are records of bats is being developed, one would hope that there has been an ecological assessment of the site, including bat survey(s). There are planning regulations that require this.

Based on this assessment, the planning authority would have placed upon the developer some requirements for mitigation of any adverse effects on the species using the site, which could include bat boxes or special bricks or a more extensive provision.

If you are able to speak to either the developer or the planning authority, they would be able to provide you with details of what is being done.

However, if you also wish to attract bats to your own property you can find lots of useful information in the About Bats section on this site or on and the Bat Conservation Trust's site: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/encouraging_bats.html

I am a consultant commissioned to survey a location with regard to a proposed development at the site. Please can you supply me with any records of bats that you have for that site?

Warwickshire Bat Group has a data sharing agreement with Warwickshire County Council's biological records centre whereby they hold the bat records for the County. Please contact them for the information you require. Their details can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/biologicalrecords

I've been told that I need a bat survey before I can go ahead with the work I want done on my property. Please can you help?

Warwickshire Bat Group only undertakes voluntary educational or associated conservation projects and is neither suitably trained or licensed, nor insured to undertake such surveys and, as a group, is not able to get involved in planning applications.

Since bats are a protected species, you need to contract a surveyor who holds the appropriate Natural England licence to undertake the work. One place where you can find such professional ecologists is the CIEEM website: http://www.cieem.net/members-directory

We hope you will find this of assistance and that you achieve an outcome which is both good for bats and meets your needs.

I've been told that I need a bat survey before I can go ahead with the work I want done and I'm worried about what this will mean for my plans. Can you help?

We hope that you have found information on our website that explains why it is important to allow bats their space in the built environment. You will need to pay an appropriately licensed professional to carry out a bat survey on your behalf. Depending on the results of that survey, some mitigation to maintain the conservation status of the local bat population may be required. However, be assured that, except in extreme circumstances, the presence of bats will not be likely to prevent development, it will simply mean that if significant evidence of the presence of bats is found, this will need to be accommodated in the scheme, as is the case with any other protected species.