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building and tree inspection

Buildings are often important for protected species such as bats or nesting birds

Whether you are conducting a barn conversion, a house extension, or a demolition, the planning authority will often require buildings or trees to be appraised for their protected species potential. WFE have ecologists licensed by Natural England to carry out building and tree inspection and provide advice on further surveys, licensing, and mitigation.


Several species of bats make use of buildings as summer roosts, maternity roosts, and for hibernating. Bats and their roosts are protected in both EU and UK law, and will need to be considered during development. During an inspection WFE will look for any bats in the building and signs such as droppings, feeding remains, or urine and body oil stains. WFE are experienced in assessing buildings for their roost potential and perform bat surveys  if the building is found to have realistic roost potential.

building and tree inspection

Mary inspects a roof space for signs of bat use


Many species of bird, for example swallow and barn owl, will make use of buildings for roosting and nesting. All birds are protected under UK law, including protection against killing/injury and against damaging nest and eggs. Certain species, such as barn owl, are also more heavily protected (by Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) against disturbance near to a nest. During an inspection WFE will assess the potential of a building for bird nesting and will look for any signs of use such as droppings, pellets, feathers, and nest sites. WFE are experienced in providing mitigation  for birds and have suitably qualified and experienced ornithologists able to provide advice, nest checks, and licenses for barn owls.

building and tree inspection

Cracks and crevices in trees can provide valuable roost sites for bats


Some species of bats use trees as roosts throughout the year, and many bird species nest in trees. If trees are going to be affected as part of a development, then they will need to be assessed for their potential for protected species. WFE are experienced in assessing trees for bat roost potential, and can provide further surveys, licensing, and mitigation advice. We are also experienced in providing ornithological surveys, mitigation, and ecological clerk of works for nesting birds. 


Project Examples

Bats revealed in a building inspection

WFE was commissioned to inspect a former Methodist chapel and associated buildings in Norwich for bats. A previous inspection by another consultant had found no bats, but small amounts of…

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