What should you do if you know of a roost or habitat that is under threat from development?
Check with the local planning authority to find out whether a bat survey has been carried out as part of the planning application. Cardiff residents can view the council’s planning website here.
The planning authority are obligated by law (Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006) to make sure that they have all the information on the presence of protected species on site before they make a decision on the planning permission.
If a survey has not been carried out on a proposed development site, you are within your rights to contact the council and request that a survey be completed. You are also entitled to see the bat survey under the Freedom of Information Act.
What should you do if you suspect a roost is being damaged or bats are being disturbed?
Damage, destruction and obstruction of roosts are criminal offences and a police matter. So is disturbance of bats. If you know of a location where these are happening, you should:
- Contact your local police station. Explain that you think a wildlife crime is being committed, and mention ‘Operation Bat’.
- Operation Bat is the police Standard Operating Procedure for dealing with bat-related incidents, because bats are a police wildlife crime priority.
- Ensure you get a reference number and then let the Bat Conservation Trust know about the incident by emailing email@example.com, or completing the incident report form on the BCT website.
- Contact the Bat Conservation Trust’s helpline: 0845 1300 228
- BCT are able to assist the police, batworkers, members of the public and professionals by giving advice and information about bats, roosts and the legislation. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a specific query.