BAT ACTIVITY SURVEY
Bat activity surveys may be required where there may be an impact upon habitat features likely to be of use to foraging or commuting bats. These impacts could occur as a result of the removal of trees, woodland or hedges or through the severing of habitat features such as hedgerows or lines of trees.
Bat activity surveys follow standard methods as described by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) and include conducting a number of activity surveys including emergence, re-entry, walked transects with a bat detector and the deployment of static bat detectors.
All surveys must take place during the bat active season (Apr-Sep inclusive) and in suitable weather conditions.
If foraging or commuting bats are found on site, any impact from the development should be avoided if possible (e.g. retaining a habitat feature rather than removing it).
However, if this is not possible, it will be necessary to devise appropriate mitigation measures to minimise any unavoidable impacts. These mitigation measures may include reducing the area or length of habitat feature to be removed or incorporating a bat-friendly lighting design.
Where there are permanent, ongoing impacts identified (e.g. loss of a habitat feature) it will be necessary to provide appropriate compensation measures. These compensation measures may include the provision of a replacement habitat feature and enhancement of existing habitat features on-site.