Bats: survey or research licence (level 4)
Get a licence to use harp traps and acoustic lures when doing surveys, research or conservation work (licence CL20).
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This licence allows you to disturb or capture bats using:
- hand nets
- static hand-held nets
- acoustic lures
- harp traps – for development surveys only (can be used for a maximum of 3 days at any one site)
Different bat licences you may need:
- a level 1 licence if you only need to use a torch
- a level 2 licence if you also need to use endoscopes, hand nets and hand-held nets
- a level 3 licence if you also need to use mist nets and acoustic lures
- a separate project licence to use harp traps for research or conservation, or to do anything not covered by this licence
You can disturb but not handle hibernating bats.
All bats must be freed at the place where they were captured immediately after being examined.
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 complete 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.
Published: 6 October 2014
Updated: 1 January 2017
- Annual licence update 2017.
- Replaced licence with new version issued 1 January 2016.
- Added updated version of licence: overview section changed to make it clearer when you can use harp traps.
- new version of CL20 valid from 1 January to 31 December 2015.
- First published.