Bats

An important area of our work is associated with bats. This is a relatively poorly researched or understood area of expertise but one in which we are able to excel, having over 30 years experience, since the inception of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.

All bats found in Britain are protected, not only from being killed or injured, but that protection extends to their roosting places, even temporary ones. The area of planning law that relates to this and impinges on developments, alterations and building conversions is known as the “PPS9 regulations”, as bats are covered under European Protected Species legislation.

We are able to offer a full service in this area including outline advice; a comprehensive survey to determine the details of species and places; reporting on the presence or absence of Protected Species to the relevant planning authority; DEFRA/RDS licence applications; and appropriate mitigation to allow the development to proceed.

Our survey methods include not only all the current standard techniques but also specialist electronic equipment which has been designed and built to our specification that can reduce not only field survey time but also offer less expensive and intrusive assessment. Our mitigation methods are some of the most advanced available in the UK and based on many years of careful experimentation, so we are able to offer sensible, successful and affordable package solutions.

Illustrated are some examples of sites and bat species we have worked with over the past twelve months.

Thetford Forest Bat Hibernation Tunnel

 
Barbastelle batA Barbastelle bat
Activity MonitorThe tunnel being monitored
 
ChartActivity times and dates (blue bands)

Within the Thetford Forest in East Anglia are a number of important bat roosting sites. One of these is a World War Two air-raid tunnel, which has been carefully extended for bat hibernation use and can contain up to nearly 50 bats of five species, including the very rare Barbastelle making it the most important hibernation site in the UK for this special Biodiversity Action Plan species.

We have been contracted to monitor this site for twelve months as English Nature www.english-nature.gov.uk, Go Ape www.goape.co.uk and the Forestry Commission www.forestry.gov.uk are keen to understand the usages of the site by bats.

Bats in the UK tend to occupy different types of site in spring, summer, autumn and winter, so a detailed understanding of their ecology is important to providing appropriate seasonal conservation mitigation.

Many types of structures can be used by bats and our surveys may be in response to bats being found during work, or they may because bats are likely at a site, so it is important to establish presence or absence.

 
Bridge

This bridge over the river Wensum was found to contain some hibernating Daubenton bats when repair work was started.

Checking kiln

Checking a long disused brick kiln for
 hibernating bats

 
Long Eared bat

A breeding colony of Brown Long-eared Bats were found in this roof space

Hibernationn
Here five Natterers bat are hibernating in Bat Bricks
 
Bat brick

A Natterers bat is seen emerging from a Bat Brick. Aurum Ecology can supply these bat conservation aids, advise on their installation or undertake the work to correctly install them.

Large bat box

One of our specially constructed large bat boxes has been positioned, south-facing, near to where a colony of Pipistrelle bats were displaced during repairs to the fabric of the building in 1992.

The box now sometimes contains in excess of 150 bats, which makes it the largest group of bats found in a bat box in the UK so far.

It has not only contained 55 KHz Pipistrelles, but has also been shared with a Noctule bat on more than one occasion.  This design, which incorporates internal cavities, has been extraordinarily successfu with at least five species of bat recorded as using them. 

So, if you are an individual applying for planning permission to convert a barn as accommodation, a tree surgeon with possible bats in trees that need attention, an architect with a remit to extend a building that contains bats, or a company intending to develop a site that has, or may have some bat issues, then we will certainly be able to advise and help, so please do get in touch.
 
info@aurum-ecology.co.uk