All bat species are protected by law, including their breeding sites and resting places.

You may be able to get a licence from us if you cannot avoid disturbing them or damaging their habitats, or if you want to survey or conserve them.

Bats in my home

Find out what to do if you are concerned about bats at your property

Bats and the law

It is against the law to:

  • deliberately capture, injure or kill bats
  • damage or destroy a breeding or resting place
  • obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places
  • possess, transport, sell or exchange live or dead bats, or parts of them
  • intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat while it’s in a structure, or place of shelter, or protection

You also need a licence to own, transport, sell or exchange a protected species.

Who can apply for a licence

You can apply for a licence if you are at least 18 years old. You can also apply if you are at least 16 years old and have wildlife licensing qualifications or awards, or if the application relates to the possession, transport, sale or exchange of a protected species.

You must be at least 16 years old to act as an accredited agent or assistant to a licensee.

An accredited agent is a person named on the licence who may act on behalf of the licensee in their absence.

An assistant is employed by and works under the direct supervision of the nominated ecologist or their accredited agents.

Assistants do not need to be named on the application form or licence. The nominated ecologist or accredited agent should keep a log of all assistants who have worked under a particular licence, as they may be asked to provide this at a later date.

Find out if you need to apply for a protected species licence

Apply for a bat licence

If you cannot avoid disturbing bats or damaging their roosts, you can apply for a species licence. 

You should apply for a licence to carry out:

You may need a licence to carry out certain activities.

Find out if you need to apply for a protected species licence

If you cannot avoid disturbing bats or damaging their roosts, you can apply for a species licence. 

You may be asked to submit an ecological compliance audit form if you're planning to build a large scheme development or a development that carries a higher risk for protected species. 

European protected species application form (online form)

European protected species application form (Word document form)

Planning permission

If planning permission or other planning consents are required, or have been granted, you will need to ask your local planning authority to complete the local planning authority consultation form

Reference form

Ecologists that have not had a species licence from us before will need to complete a reference form.

Referees must be:

  • able to comment on their experience of working with the relevant species
  • their ability to use the methods and equipment proposed within your licence application
  • suitably qualified themselves and must have held a relevant licence previously
  • must have experience of your work for at least one survey season

We can only accept one reference from the company you currently work for. We may contact your referees to verify their statements.

Forestry management licence

You must apply for a licence if you’re doing any activity in a forest or woodland setting that affects a protected species.

Apply for a forest management licence

Extend your licence

You can sometimes apply for an extension to your licence if you’re unable to complete an activity before a licence expires.

Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Report your actions under a licence

Complete the development licence report form four weeks after the licence is due to expire.

Licence monitoring report

An ecologist must complete the licence monitoring report form. The form is a requirement of the monitoring conditions of your species licence.

Amend your licence

You can ask for amendments to your licence using the relevant forms.

Amendment request form
Change of licensee
Change of ecologist form
Survey licence amendment form

Contact us

You can contact us for help at any time during your licence application.

Last updated