You need a mitigation licence if your work will have an impact on bats that would otherwise be illegal, such as:
- capturing, killing, disturbing or injuring them (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
- damaging or destroying their breeding or resting places (even accidentally)
- obstructing access to their resting or sheltering places (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
Find out how bats are protected.
How to apply
You need to complete latest versions of the:
- application form
- method statement to show what you’ll do to reduce the impacts of the proposed work on bats
- work schedule to show when you’ll do the activities and in what order
Complete all mandatory questions on the forms marked with an asterisk (*).
You also need to provide:
- a reasoned statement to show that the activity fits the criteria and that there is no satisfactory alternative
references to show that the ecological consultant has the necessary experience to apply for a mitigation licence (references will not be needed if they’ve held a mitigation licence for the same species in the last 3 years)
If the application is for a phased or multi-plot development, you must provide a master plan and habitat management and maintenance plan.
You need to send all required forms together with the application form.
Natural England will decide whether to issue a licence within 30 working days of receiving your application.
Use the European protected species (EPS) licensing policies
As part of your mitigation licence application, you may be able to use the EPS licensing policies to:
- reduce the level of survey you need to carry out
- reduce the mitigation requirements
- improve flexibility on where you create habitats as a compensation measure
Find out when and how to use European protected species policies to benefit EPS.
What you must include in your application
If the purpose of your application is to preserve public health or safety, you must make this clear in any covering email or letter. Make it clear in both if you apply by email and post.
On the application form, you must:
- provide the applicant’s email and postal address (section 1)
- include a site address and grid reference (section 6)
- indicate whether the named ecologist has held a European protected species (EPS) licence for the same species in the last 3 years - if not, you must provide 2 references and details of their experience (section 10)
- obtain the necessary planning consents and include copies of them - consents are required even if your application does not need a reasoned statement (section 11)
- indicate whether your application requires a reasoned statement - if it does not, explain why not (section 11)
- confirm you have no previous wildlife convictions (section 16)
- have both the named ecologist and applicant complete, sign and date the declaration (section 16)
On the work schedule, you must:
- include the site name and address, and the submission date
With the method statement, you must:
- include all compulsory figures (section I)
- separate the figures into individual PDF documents and ensure the date of submission is included on each document (section I)
Use of safe roofing membranes
You must include a certificate that proves the roofing membrane has passed a ‘snagging propensity test’ if you’re using a non-bitumen coated roofing membrane.
A snagging propensity test checks that the membrane can stand the repeated snagging actions of roosting bats. To pass, a membrane must show no change in the average number of loops per cm2 as rotations are increased from 0 to 1000.
You do not need a certificate for bitumen 1F felt that has a non-woven, short fibre construction.
How to request a change to an existing licence
You need to complete the modification request form and you must quote the licence reference number.
For a change of licensee, you must include:
- a letter or email from the previous licensee explaining what is proposed
- a letter or email from the new licensee confirming that they accept the agreed mitigation proposals relating to the licence
- an application form with sections 1, 16a and 16b completed by the new licensee
For a change of named ecologist, you must include:
- a letter or email from the previous ecologist explaining what is proposed
- a letter or email from the new ecologist confirming that they accept the agreed mitigation proposals relating to the licence
- an application form with Sections 2, 10, 16a and 16c completed by the new ecologist
For your licence, you must also:
- complete the modification request form on this page
- have both the ecologist and the licensee sign the form
- include any amended documents or figures, dated appropriately, as stated on your request form (highlight changes within documents and strikeout deleted text)
If your licence is pre-annex, meaning it includes a licensed method statement, you must:
- provide a summary of progress stating what has been completed and what is left to complete
- provide a summary of the animals captured or disturbed during the licensed works so far
- include a list of the changes to the licensed method statement and other documents
- state whether there are any implications for the ‘favourable conservation status’ of the licensed species as a result of the proposed changes
- include an updated method statement, dated appropriately, with all changes clearly highlighted (even if you only need to modify the work schedule)
- include all maps and figures that support your method statement
When you may need to pay
You may need to pay for this licence or a change to your licence for certain development work. Natural England will assess your application form and tell you:
- if you need to pay
- how much you’ll pay
Read the terms and conditions for paying for a wildlife licence.
When you do not need to pay
You will not pay for a licence or a change to your licence if it’s for:
- use by a volunteer
- preserving public health and safety
- preventing the spread of disease
- preventing serious damage to property
- conservation of bat roosts in their original position
- conservation of a historic property
- domestic home improvements
How to pay
Natural England will send you an invoice when it approves your application.
You can pay by:
- electronic bank transfer
- debit or credit card by telephone - except American Express
Your invoice will give details for these payment methods.
You need to include the invoice number with your payment so Natural England can match it to your application.
VAT does not apply to charges for wildlife licences.
Natural England accepts purchase orders. If you want Natural England to add a purchase number to your invoice, you must include it in the invoice details in your application form.
How to report your actions
You must report any actions you took using this licence using the European protected species return form. You must report no later than 2 weeks after your licence expires, even if you’ve taken no action. You may be asked to submit interim reports too. Send your completed form by post or email to Natural England using the details on the form.