Bats in buildings
Bat Conservation Trust
Bats and Buildings
Specialist Support Series
Bats use buildings increasingly for roosting, as natural roosting places in tree holes and caves
become more scarce or disturbed. All buildings, in particular the walls, eaves and roofs, are
potential roost sites. Anyone working regularly in these areas, such as surveyors, architects,
plumbers, roofers, pest technicians, double glazing installators and insulators, should be aware
of signs to look for.
The information provided here is believed to be correct. However, no responsibility can be accepted by the Bat Conservation Trust or any of its partners or officers for any
consequence of errors or omissions, nor any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this information and no claims for
compensation for damage or negligence will be accepted.Bats and the law
Where works affect other buildings or structures, eg tree or bridge works/maintenance, any demolition (including houses),
All 17 species of bat in the UK are protected by law. This
building maintenance, barn conversions, works to churches
differs slightly from country to country, but in summary
etc, then the appropriate Government department (Defra,
it is illegal to:
Welsh Assembly, Scottish Executive, Environment & Heritage Service Northern Ireland) must be informed and a Habitats
kill, injure or disturb bats
Regulations Licence application submitted to and approved by
obstruct access to bat roosts
them before any work can commence. Procedures for this can
damage or disturb bat roosts
be quite lengthy, so bat surveys should be undertaken as early
because of the following legislation:
as possible in the proceedings. In all cases, a timely survey
by an experienced bat worker can save delays later.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981: England, Scotland and Wales
Where do bats roost in buildings?
Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985: Northern Ireland
Different species of bat prefer different places; some creep
Wildlife Act 1990: Isle of Man
into tiny spaces, cracks and crevices. Only occasionally do
Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000:
they hang free or are easily visible.
England and Wales
Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004: Scotland
Outside they may roost:
Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) on the
under weather boarding or hanging tiles
Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and
above soffits and behind fascia and barge boarding
between window frame and wall brickwork in gaps behind cladding tiles or wood
In this context ‘damage' would include such operations
between underfelt and boards or tiles
as treatment with chemicals found in wood preservatives.
inside cavity walls
‘Disturbance' includes any work in or affecting a bat
Inside roof spaces they may roost: along the ridge beam
Under the law, a roost is any structure or place used by bats around the gable end
for shelter or protection. Because bats tend to re-use the around the chimney breast
same roosts year after year, the roost is protected whether
or not bats are present at the time
Looking for the evidence
In order that legislation is not contravened, any building Bats do not make nests or cause structural damage.
maintenance or other operation that needs to be carried out The most obvious sign of their presence is droppings.
where there are bats or evidence of bats must be notified Bat droppings consist largely of insect remains and
to the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation crumble easily between your fingers to a powder of semi-
(SNCO) or government department in order that it can advise shiny fragments.
on whether the operation should be carried out and, if so, the Rodent droppings are smooth and plastic, quickly
method to be used and the timing.
becoming hard. They cannot be crumbled.
Where works likely to affect bats and/or roosts are proposed Bat droppings do not present any known health hazards.
for a house, your SNCO (English Nature, Countryside Council Droppings may not always be readily visible in a loft.
for Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage or Environment & Large accumulations may reflect use over a number of Heritage Service Northern Ireland) must be informed in order years rather than large numbers of bats at any one time.
to advise on how you should proceed.
Bat droppings are frequently mistaken for mouse droppings,
so do the ‘crumble test'.
When do bats use buildings?
Best practice for working in bat roosts
Bats use buildings at any time, but are most often found in houses between May and August.
In order to work within the law, seek advice from the appropriate SNCO in any situation
Mother bats have only one baby a year, suckling it for several weeks. The mothers gather in maternity roosts to
where an operation may affect bats or their
have their babies in summer, and this is the time they are
most likely to be seen using buildings.
If operations have already started when
The bats move away when the young can fly and feed
bats or their roosts are discovered, work must
themselves, and have usually left by September.
stop and the relevant SNCO must be contacted
Immature individuals, adult males and non-breeding females will occupy a variety of roosts, individually or in small
groups, at any time of year.
Disturbance or the use of chemicals at maternity roosts in houses can have a major impact on bat populations
gathered from a wide area.
(Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations)
Bats do roost in houses in winter, usually individually, but
are difficult to see.
Northminster House, Peterborough PE1 1UA
Which bats use buildings?
Telephone 01733 455000
All our UK species have been recorded in houses, but some very
rarely. Pipistrelles and long-eared bats are the species most Countryside Council for Wales
Maes Y Fynnon, Penrhosgarnedd, Bagnor, Gwynedd LL57 2NDTelephone 01248 385500
There are three different species of pipistrelles:
the common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and Scottish Natural Heritage
the rarer Nathusius' pipistrelle. They sometimes 12 Hope Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 2AS
use houses as maternity roosts, choosing Telephone 0131 447 4784
confined spaces. These are usually on the outside www.snh.gov.uk
of buildings, such as under soffits or behind barge boards or Environment and Heritage Service (N. Ireland)
hanging tiles, where the bats can rarely be seen.
Environment Services, Commonwealth House, 35 Castle Street, Belfast BT1 1GU
Brown long-eared bat
Telephone 02890 546 558
This species mostly prefers older houses with www.ehsni.gov.uk
large roof spaces. Small clusters may be seen
at junctions of roof timbers or under the ridge. When a Habitats Regulations Licence is required you need
It is the bat most frequently seen inside lofts, to contact your government department. Your SNCO will be
and small numbers may stay longer than other able to advise of its address.
Pest control in a bat roost
The Bat Conservation Trust
The control of pests such as wasps, bees, hornets, cluster flies
15 Cloisters House
and rodents may unintentionally affect bats or their roosts, so
8 Battersea Park Road
care should be taken when controlling pests in an area where bats are, or are known to have been, present.
London SW8 4BG
Rodenticides should not be placed in an open tray below
Bat Helpline 0845 1300 228
Insecticides recommended as safer for use near mammals are based on boron, permethrin or cypermethrin. Obtain
details from SNCOs.
The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is the only national
Ask for advice too on the range of fungicides which may be
organisation solely devoted to the conservation of
used in sites used by bats.
bats and their habitats in the UK.
Sticky traps should not be used in bat roosts.
BCT produces a wide range of publications and
Advice must be sought from your SNCO before any action is
taken in order to keep within the law.
resources covering all aspects of bats and their conservation.
Registered charity number 1012361
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Case 5:08-cv-00479-PD Document 169-1 Filed 05/16/12 Page 1 of 66 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA KYLE J. LIGOURI and TAMMY L. HOFFMAN individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:08-CV-00479-PD WELLS FARGO & COMPANY, WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., NORTH STAR MORTGAGE GUARANTY REINSURANCE COMPANY,