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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-28033

  • Asked by: Mark Ruskell, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party
  • Date lodged: 5 June 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Gillian Martin on 14 June 2024


To ask the Scottish Government what action NatureScot is taking to safeguard bat roost sites located on homes, while highlighting the importance of bat species protection to householders.


All bat species found in Scotland are classed as European protected species. They receive the highest level of species protection under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.

This protection also extends to bat roosts. As bats return to the same places every year, a bat roost is protected even if no bats are present. Any action taken which might disturb or damage a bat roost requires a licence from NatureScot.

NatureScot bat workers and Licensing staff advise residents on bat species protection and how to manage the bat roosts within their homes in line with this protection through the Bats in Houses helpline or, for more complex cases, a home visit. NatureScot staff encourage residents in the first instance to retain these roosts, though in some circumstances they need to be excluded under licence because of the public health issue they can pose to residents. The licence to exclude bats contains conditions for the actions to safeguard the bats during the exclusion.