Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published new guidance aiming to protect bats from onshore wind turbines covering topics including survey, assessment and mitigation.
It updates best practice for developers, planners and ecological consultants to ensure onshore wind developments pose minimal risk to bats.
The document places an emphasis on direct impacts such as collision mortality, although it also references the need for a full impact assessment requiring a wider consideration of other indirect effects. The guidance draws on findings from Defra-led research into understanding the risks of onshore wind turbine sites on European protected species.
It provides detailed best practice advice across the various stages of development and types of methodology including roost surveys, bat activity surveys, assessing bat activity levels, vulnerability to collision, result interpretation, assessing potential risk, applying mitigation and post-construction monitoring.
The guidance is set to be further refined and updated in the light of new evidence and user feedback in 2020.