The growing use of artificial lighting to enhance the night-time environment is having a negative impact on the natural world. Mammals and birds are affected by light, specifically in the way that it impacts on their breeding and feeding habits. This is all reflected in the reports of declining populations around the world. Specifically, bats are affected by the indiscriminate use of outdoor lighting.
Lighting alters the behavior of insects, on which bats rely for food. It can also impinge on the access points to bat roosts, putting those roosts, and the young who may be inside them, in danger of being abandoned.
Bats are a protected species, which means that any proposals to make alterations to buildings or structures where it is known that bats roost, or along any known flight paths, need to receive planning approval before any work can be carried out.
It is an offence to:
- intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group pf bats
- damage or destroy a bat roosting place
- intentionally or recklessly construct access to a bat roost
The penalties are serious for destroying a bat roost , with up six months’ imprisonment and or a £5000 fine.
‘Could your lighting be disturbing bats?
- This special webinar will look at the practicalities of lighting in the vicinity of a bat population and will discuss methods of removing obtrusive lighting.
The webinar takes place on Wednesday 13 April at 1pm BST and is free if you register here. Please click on the Lux Webinar logo.