About the licence levels

There are four Class Licences ‘to survey bats of all species for scientific (including research) and/or educational purposes’ (Natural England).

The licences permit the disturbance and surveying of bats by different methods (with Levels 2-4 including taking/capturing bats by different methods):

  • Level 1 (CL17) - observation only including the use of artificial light, in the form of torches (but not endoscopes).
  • Level 2 (CL18) - endoscopes, hand and static hand-held nets as well as using artificial light (e.g. torches).
  • Level 3 (CL19) - mist nets and acoustic lures as well as artificial light (e.g. torches), endoscopes, hand and static hand-held nets.
  • Level 4 (CL20) - harp traps and acoustic lures as well as artificial light (e.g. torches), endoscopes, hand and static hand-held nets, but not mist-nets

Each licence level includes all methods covered under the preceding licence level, with the exception of Level 4, which includes use of harp traps but not mist-nets. Therefore if you want to use mist nets and harp traps, you will need to hold both Level 3 and Level 4 licences (and these include all of the Level 1 and Level 2 methods).

Please read carefully the Natural England licence documents for full details of what each licence does and does not cover, terms and conditions, information and advice:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bats-survey-or-research-licence-level-1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bats-survey-or-research-licence-level-2

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bats-survey-or-research-licence-level-3

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bats-survey-or-research-licence-level-4