Bats: survey or research licence (level 1)

Get a licence to disturb bats using torches when doing surveys, research or conservation work (licence CL17).



This licence allows you to disturb bats (but not hibernating bats) using torches.

To carry out other survey techniques you need:

You need a separate personal licence to do anything not covered by this licence.

Register with Natural England

This is a class licence – you don’t need to apply for it but you must register with Natural England using the survey or research protected species form (A34) first.

You don’t need to send in this form if you have a personal survey licence for bats.


You usually need to send a reference form when you register for this licence if:

  • you haven’t held a licence for the species or a similar species for the last 3 years
  • you have a licence but want to add new methods

Report action taken

You must return a report of action taken under a bat survey or research licence form no later than 30 April each year, even if you’ve taken no action.

This form is also used to renew your registration.