To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect bats.
1 March 2022
All native bat species are protected under Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats & Species Regulations 2017. This makes it an offence to deliberately capture, injure or kill bats, as well as to damage or destroy a breeding or resting place, and obstruct access to their resting or sheltering place. As such, a licence from Natural England is needed to disturb bats and their roosts. This is only issued for specific purposes set out in the legislation and only where there is no satisfactory alternative and where the activity does not impact on the favourable conservation status of the species.
This Government is committed to halting the decline in species abundance by 2030, through a world-leading legally binding target under the Environment Act. We will shortly be publishing a Green Paper to look at how we can drive the delivery of that target, including through our sites and species protections. Other actions under the Environment Act are likely to support species like bats, such as biodiversity net gain for development including NSIPs and Local Nature Recovery Strategies to drive local actions to protect and recover species.