BAWC - Birders Against Wildlife Crime Organisation
(extract from the BirdersAgainst.org website)
In Britain we are lucky enough to have 18 species of bats, 17 of which are known to be breeding here – that’s almost a quarter of all our mammal species. Bat populations have suffered severe declines during the past century though, and are in urgent need of protection.
All bat species and their roosts (even if no bats are present) are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation. It is also illegal to obstruct access to a roost.
How can we help protect bats?
RECOGNISE - RECORD - REPORT
Find out more from the BAWC website...
Many people are unaware of the laws protecting bats and sometimes a polite conversation will be enough to prevent a crime taking place, but ignorance of the law is not an excuse. In the case of bats the law is very clear: it is illegal to capture, injure or kill a bat of any species, disturb any bat while it is roosting, or damage or destroy a bat roost.
A Frequently Asked Question concerns photographing bats. Great care needs to be taken as any disturbance caused to a bat by a photographer is an offence.
Therefore while it is legal to photograph a bat (even to use a flash) it should be done well away from their roost and not at too close a range.