Bats are mammals. They have hair or fur on their bodies, are warm blooded and are the only mammals that can fly. Mother’s will give birth to a single young which will start flying at three weeks old. Bats living in the UK generally eat a variety of insects. They hibernate in the colder weather to conserve energy when insects are harder to find. Bats don't make nests but choose various places to roost throughout the year with other bats. Some prefer hollow trees or caves, others use both at different times. Many shelter in buildings, behind roofing tiles and boarding or in roof spaces. You may realise you have bats living in your property during the summer time when they are most active. They don't cause damage to cables or timbers and their droppings may concern some people but there is no evidence of any significant disease risk. In addition to this, you may discover bats living at your property whilst carrying out work
Bats are a protected species
All species of bat and their breeding sites or resting places (roosts) are protected under Regulation 41 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 . It is an offence for anyone intentionally to kill, injure or handle a bat, to possess a bat (whether live or dead), disturb a roosting bat, or sell or offer a bat for sale without a licence. It is also an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used by bats for shelter, whether they are present or not.
Caution must be exercised if you are carrying out the following work and discover bats:
- Treating roof timbers with insecticide
- Carrying out renovation or development work
- Other pest control activities (insects or rodents)
For advice regarding the discovery of bats or any other information relating to bats, please contact The Bat Conservation Trust.