Bats are protected, so it is normally illegal to keep healthy, flying bats, and a licence is needed to handle them. However, you may need to deal with injured or roosting bats you have found in your home or property.
Anyone who finds a bat that is ill or injured may take care of it in whatever way is most humane and practical with the objective of its rehabilitation to the wild. There are a number of experienced bat rehabilitators in the UK, so in these circumstances please contact the Bat Helpline on (0845) 1300 228 for assistance who will be able to put you in touch with your nearest bat rehabilitator.
Bats are gentle creatures and seldom show any aggression but they are wild animals and may be frightened or in pain. You must take care not to be bitten so wear thick protective gloves and handle the bat as little as possible.
Bats and their roosts are protected by law. As bats tend to return to the same roosts every year, the roosts are protected whether bats are present or not. Thus it is illegal to kill, injure or take a wild bat, or intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost.
Building work to your property
Having bats in your roof does not mean building work, repairs or timber treatment cannot take place but you will need to contact Natural England for their free advice before you proceed.
Further information about bats
The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) runs the National Bat Helpline, providing information to anyone needing advice on issues relating to bats.
You can contact them on:
Telephone: 0845 1300 228
The helpline is open from:
October-April (non-peak season) - Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm
May-September (peak season) - Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm*
*During May - September, an 'Out of Hours Helpline' is also available in the evenings and on weekends. Please note, the Out of Hours Helpline is run by volunteers and is for emergency calls only.