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New ‘light’ bat licence to go ahead

04 April 2014

By a staff reporter

A TRIAL of a new "lighter-touch" bat licence has been judged successful, and is likely to be implemented more widely this summer, Natural England has confirmed.

The new licence covers work affecting low-conservation-status roosts and small numbers of the common bat species. It is designed to be simpler, reducing administrative and financial costs for churches, businesses, and householders.

The chief executive of Natural England, Dave Webster, said: "This trial is benefitting a number of customers, allowing them to take a more flexible approach when dealing with small bat roosts."

New research carried out by academics at the University of Bristol, funded by the Department for Rural Affairs, suggests that lights and acoustic devices can help direct bats away from churches.

Anne Sloman, who chairs the Church Buildings Council, said that the research was useful, but that it urgently needed to be translated into practical action for churches.


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