Bats: licences for tree works

We may issue a licence to permit tree works where a bat roost is present and no alternative is possible.

All bat species found in Scotland use trees as roosts. Roost sites are usually difficult to see and may not be used throughout the year. So the absence of bats near a tree doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no roost in its branches.

It’s crucial to be sure that there are no bat roosts in a tree that is to be felled, cut or lopped. Roosts are so important to bats that they are protected year round, even when not in use.

We recommend that you have a bat survey carried out if you’re planning any such work and there’s a chance that bats might use the tree.

If bats are found, you should apply to us for a licence if your work could otherwise result in an offence in relation to bats.

A licence can only be granted if you can meet the three strict European protected species licensing tests.

How to apply

Fill in the application form and email it to [email protected]

Download the Licence application form – works affecting bats

Read the Guidance notes for application for a licence for European protected species

Read the Guidance notes on providing supporting information for a licence for European protected species

Licence returns

A condition of any licence is that you must submit a licence return to us.

You should submit your return information using our licence return form for works affecting bats. Email us your completed form, giving your name and licence number in the subject line.

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

Find out more

Data Protection notice

Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Guidance for ecologists on changes relevant to bat surveys for a licence application

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