The Northern Ireland Environment Agency Natural Environment Division (NED) has published new Guidance on Bat Surveys, Assessment and Mitigation for Onshore Wind Turbine Developments in Northern Ireland. This new document follows the recently updated NatureScot 2021 guidance, updated from the previous Scottish Natural Heritage (2019) document. Whilst the NED guidance does not aim to replace the NatureScot guidance, these new guidelines do provide additional clarifications and recommendations, and deals more specifically with bats in the Irish context. Therefore, where the NED guidance differs or adds further detail to what is specified in the NatureScot guidance, bat survey methodologies and mitigation requirements for Irish sites should follow the requirements set out here.

MKO will shortly be issuing a briefing note to inform our wind energy clients of the relevant changes to survey methodology and impact assessments, and what these will mean for existing and future projects.

The full NED guidance document can be downloaded at the following link: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/niea-natural-environment-division-guidance-bat-surveys-assessment-and-mitigation-onshore-wind

Should you have any queries regarding the implementation of the new guidance, please feel free to contact Aoife Joyce, our bat team lead, on 091-735611 or at ajoyce@mkoireland.ie