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Category:  Ecology News  - added:
Brown long eared bats - copyright Steve Marshall

It’s all about the bats!

Cornwall Environmental Consultants, based in Allet near Truro, are in a favourable position thanks to Natural England offering a new kind of licence for those who find they have bats living in buildings they wish to develop.

Natural England have introduced a “Bat Low Impact Class Licence” which is a streamlined licensing process, allowing works on developments which will only have a low impact on a small number of bats; yet still ensure the works are undertaken within the law.

Licenced ecologists who had sufficient experience were invited to apply to become registered with Natural England to obtain this additional Bat Low Impact Class Licence. Out of approximately 170 applicants, Natural England selected 70 who met their strict entry criteria. It was necessary to attend a two day course and pass an exam; two who made the grade are Steve Marshall and Dave Hunter – Cornwall Environmental Consultant’s very own bat ecologists!

This puts CEC in a fortunate position to provide this additional service to our clients. It means that we can apply for a Bat Low Impact Class Licence on our client’s behalf – something only a few consultancies in England can offer.

Steve Marshall said; “The licence application process has been hugely reduced, so there is a lot less paperwork which means it should take less time to apply and obtain a licence. This is good news, because it should reduce costs and delays for our clients.”

Previously a European Protected Species Licence for even a small number of bats would be a fairly lengthy and costly process. It would also mean restrictions as to when a client could undertake works on their project – normally they would have to wait until early spring or autumn/winter time – but this new licence means work can be undertaken straight away; as soon as the licence is in place.

Emma Barrow, Business & Marketing Manager for CEC also said; “It is even more important than ever to use a bat ecologist with this additional expertise, or else you could still end up with the time delays and costs of a full European Protected Species licence which may be unnecessary simply because the bat ecologist you have used can’t apply for this new licence instead”.

Clients should be aware this licence doesn’t apply to the rarer bats species and excludes maternity roosts and hibernation roosts of all species.

Cornwall Environmental Consultants are the trading arm of Cornwall Wildlife Trust. All profits from CEC are donated to Cornwall Wildlife Trust to help support its charitable work protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.

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