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All bats are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

It is an offence to:

  • Kill, injure, catch or keep bats
  • Damage, destroy or obstruct bat roosts
  • Disturb bats while they are roosting, for example by entering known roosts or hibernation sites
  • Sell, barter or exchange bats, alive or dead

It is a legal requirement to consult Scottish Natural Heritage before you do anything that might affect bats or their roosts.

This might include:

  • blocking, filling or installing grilles over old mines or tunnels
  • Building, alteration or maintenance work
  • Getting rid of unwanted bat colonies
  • Removing hollow trees
  • Re-roofing
  • Remedial timber treatment
  • Rewiring or plumbing in roofs
  • Treatment of wasps, bees or cluster flies

Remember that because bats return to the same places every year, a bat roost is protected even if there aren’t bats there all the time

This explanation should be regarded only as a guide to the law. For further details, reference should be made to Sections 9-11, 16-27 and 69 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

For further information on bats contact Scottish Natural Heritage or the Bat Conservation Trust

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