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AE Ecology

Ecological Consultancy Services

Bat surveys - useful information to help you understand how we help you deal with bats to help you with your planning application

How much does a bat survey cost?

Short answer – it depends!  But that’s not particularly helpful for someone trying to plan and budget for their building or renovation project.  So we have set out some information that will help you get some idea of the possible costs, and what that means.  (You might also find our guide on 'What does a bat survey involve?' useful).


Costs for bat surveys are worked out in much the same way as for any other professionals working on your project – such as architects, builders, interior designers and planning agents.  We have our hourly rates (which vary a bit depending on the level of skill needed for the work, experience of the surveyor or complexity of the survey).  You might expect rates for a bat surveyor to be somewhere in the region £30-£45 per hour.


For an initial visual inspection, the Bat Conservation Trust’s good practice survey guidelines advise that for a simple domestic property, an internal inspection should take one to two hours.  There would also be further time spent examining the outside of the building and looking at how it sits in the surrounding area.  So three hours is a reasonable guide for the amount of time a fairly straightforward domestic survey would take.


Once the visual survey has been done, a report will need to be produced. Again, the time needed to do this can vary depending on the complexity of the site and the survey findings.  A simple survey that had nothing particularly difficult to report may only take a couple of hours, while a more involved site may take several hours more.


It might be necessary to carry out further surveys (sometimes called Phase 2, or emergence surveys (see here for more info),


But - please don't think that we are always keen to recommend Phase 2 surveys because of the money!  Firstly, this would be unethical and against professional standards.


Secondly (and more selfishly!) we would far rather spend our time surveying buildings where we thought there would be bats, rather than spending hours looking at a building in the (often chilly) darkness knowing we won't see any bats.


So, we won't advise you to do any more work than is absolutely necessary.


There are usually travel costs as well (which is why it can pay to support local businesses!)


Don’t forget, though, that this rate is not just all money in the ecologist’s pocket!  As with any business, there are all sorts of other tedious costs to consider such as equipment costs, ongoing training, professional fees (memberships of professional bodies etc.), office overheads, and insurance.


It is also worth bearing in mind the amount of training and experience needed to do a decent survey, which is essential to give you peace of mind.  At AE Ecology, we have a wealth of experience, gained through working with a wide range of sectors and development projects.  And importantly for you, we have probably more experience in working with planning authorities than many other (often larger) organisations.  We really do understand the planning system; we talk the language of planners and know how a report should be written so the planning authority gets what they need from it.


The Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine recently ran a sensible and measured article on this, which you may find useful.


Also, bat ecology is not simple!  To give you an idea of the complexity of bat ecology, see our guide here.

FAQs just about bats


- Why do I need a bat survey?


- What does a bat survey involve?


- How much does a bat survey cost?


- What is a bat licence?


- Why are bats protected?


- Why can’t we just assume bats are here and deal with it that way?


- What if I’ve already started work and I find a bat?


- What if I don’t need planning permission and just want to repair my roof?


- Do I need a bat survey if I don’t need planning permission?


- Do I need a bat survey if I am just applying for Listed Building Consent?


- Why are bats so complicated?!