Overgrown garden with bats - what can I do?
I just registered here hoping someone will be able to give me a bit of advice.
Basically, I'm looking at buying my first home and I've been to see one today which I'm absolutely in love with. It's perfect for me in every way. The garden, however, is partially over grown. The owners mentioned to me that they have bats fly around outside at night which I didn't consider a problem at first, but with the garden being so overgrown, I wanted to get it checked for pests before I made an offer - I'm not a gardener or green thumb by any sense of the imagination so I wouldn't have a clue how to go about getting rid of the overgrowth or any pests. While calling a few places, one of them happened to mention bats being a protected species.
I then went and did some of my own research regarding this and it seems like there are laws in place which make it seemingly impossible to legally remove bats from your home or to even so much as accidentally disturb a bat. I've heard of £5000 fines per bat if you kill one, and even potential prison time.
So, my question is now, if bat laws are this strict going so far as to say that you can't even disturb a "potential" (but not used) bat habitat, what am I legally allowed to do about the overgrowth in the garden? How can I cut it down/remove the overgrowth if I could potentially be disturbing a bat habitat? Am I, or the current owners, just supposed to let it grow out of control? The owners have taken absolutely pristine care of their home and the patio'd portion of the garden so it seems very out of character for them to let the upper end of the garden become so jungle-esk - but if the laws around bats are this strict then I'm wondering if that's why they've left it, and if that's why they're looking to move.
I've read that you can seek special permission to do some things regarding making changes to buildings/trees that may harbour bats but these are subject to strict tests before being awarded.
I've tried contacting National Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust for advice but they're closed until after the weekend so I just wondered if anyone here had any advice on this? Is there any legal route at all I can take to get rid of the bats from both the house and the garden if they're there or do I have no choice but to live with them/let the garden continue to overgrow? If that's the case, then I can't buy the house and I'll be absolutely gutted.