Bats and the law

Bats and their roosts are fully protected by British and European law. 

  • This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you:
  • Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
  • 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)
  • Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost

Please refer to the legislation for the precise wording – the above is a brief summary only.

BCT link to bats and the law

Anyone who is involved in activities that may impact on bats has a legal responsibility to comply with the law. You are therefore strongly advised to acquaint yourself with the law protecting bats.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Bats also need to be considered in the planning process. Where there is a possibility that bats may be impacted by development proposals, planning authorities are required to ask for bat surveys to be undertaken prior to determining a planning application. You are strongly advised to discuss your proposals with the planning authority before submission of an application.

BCT advice on planning and the law 

Are you concerned that a development may harm bats?

Bats and their roosts are protected by law and should be considered during the planning process.  The Leicestershire & Rutland Bat Group does not currently have the capacity to get involved in every individual case. However, the Bat Conservation Trust have compiled advice which may assist you in taking the appropriate action to protect bats.

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