Wind farm bat surveys

The highest level of protection is given to species of European importance

All species of bats are strictly protected under The Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.), Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 (as amended) (known as the Habitats Regulations). Blackstaff Ecology personnel have extensive experience of completing bat surveys for wind farm developments ranging in size from 3 to 36 turbines. To date our staff has completed surveys for over 15 such developments.

All survey work and survey reports are carried out according to the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) ‘Bat Surveys Good Practice Guidelines’; and we endeavour to ensure that all works comply with British Standard BS42020:2013. This standard provides recommendations and guidance for those engaged in planning and development, whose work might affect or have implications for conservation, or the enhancement of biodiversity.

Methodology

Bat activity surveys are, therefore, essential when planning the location of wind turbines, in order to ensure that bat commuting routes and foraging areas are avoided. The methodology for bat activity on wind farms will vary depending on the size of the development site and its connectivity with the wider countryside.

However surveys usually involve:

  • Bat activity transects
  • Remote/static bat activity surveys (sometimes at height)
  • Habitat assessment for foraging, commuting and roosting bats and
  • Surveys of potential structures and trees with potential for roosting bats.
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