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Bat populations are in rapid decline. Bats and their roosts are now legally protected. In Cumbria we have eight bat species out of the sixteen species found in Britain.

Bats depend on buildings to house them and return to the same place every year. They use existing gaps or holes for access, don’t have nesting materials or nibble through capes, wires or insulation. Bats do not cause damage.

Bats legal status

All species of bat and their breeding sites or resting places (roosts) are protected under legislation.

It is an offence for anyone intentionally to kill, injure or handle a bat, to possess a bat (whether live or dead), disturb a roosting bat, or sell or offer a bat for sale without a licence. It is also an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used by bats for shelter, whether they are present or not.

This means that if you plan to develop any building you should be carrying out a bat survey before you begin any work.

Further advice on bats

Pipistrelle Bat in-flight used with the kind permission of Dave Marshall see www.DaveMarshallWildlife.co.uk
Pipistrelle bat in gloved hand. Image used with kind permission from Dave Marshall www.DaveMarshallWildlife.co.uk
Nocule Bat in gloved hand used with kind persmission from Dave Marshall www.DaveMarshallWildlife.co.uk

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