There are 18 species of bat found in the UK (meaning that bats make up about a quarter of all Britain’s mammal species) and 16 of these are found in Wales.
Bats naturally live in trees and caves, but many have adapted to roosting in buildings such as houses, churches, barns, tunnels and bridges. All native bats are insect eaters and are unrelated to mice and other rodents. This means that bats roosting in buildings do not chew through wiring, timber, furniture or other items.
British and European bat populations have fallen rapidly over the last hundred years so all UK bats and their roosts are strictly protected by law.
If you need advice about bats, both Natural England and the Bat Conservation Trust have produced guidance for roost owners, site developers and managers, as well as guidance about legislation and licence requirements. The Bat Conservation Trust also gives advice via the National Bat Helpline.
You should talk to the Countryside Council for Wales before you start any structural or unusually noisy work, erect lighting, or fell or prune trees, if you suspect bats may be roosting nearby. The Countryside Council for Wales will give advice on the best way of working. If you find any bats when you are working on a property or tree you should stop work immediately and contact the Countryside Council for Wales for advice.
If you need advice about bats in relation to a planning application see the Planning and Development enquiries section.