In March this year I was lucky enough to be enrolled on a Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue course at Bridgwater College, Cannington. Running up to the course I was fortunate to have the support of a colleague Ben, from our ecological consultancy team, who already had his Tree Climbing qualification and is an experienced climber. He gave me a great deal of insight prior to the course, however, nothing could prepare me for the physical work that was involved!
It’s no secret bats are known, by some, as pests ‘invading’ homes and terrifying families. Blood sucking, ugly, diseased creatures often found in grave yards or swarming around haunted houses. Searching the internet, it is astounding the number of ‘pest’ control companies talking in this way about bats. In all fairness as an ecologist who surveys bats on a regular basis and completely intrigued by their behaviour, my opinion is a completely bias one.
Ecosulis have recently completed a large scale infrastructure project in Lancashire. The primary focus of the job was to climb and inspect mature trees to assess the potential of tree cavities to support roosting bats.
The work was undertaken by Mark Anderton and Ben Mitchell (licensed bat ecologist) and once up in the tree canopy, the principle role of the inspection involved using an endoscope to inspect the full extent of the cavity. The first stage is evidently checking for the presence or absence of roosting bats, although no bats were recorded in this instance.
Natural England have recently changed their licensing process, which is now more stringent and requires an increased level of detail. Method statements associated with licence documents are legally binding and must be adhered to. Natural England are still experiencing delays processing licence applications.
Natural England have previously raised concerns over some consultants advice in respect to when a mitigation licence is required. Specifically these relate to:
The Biodiversity Planning Toolkit is a new online resource launched in 2011 and developed by the Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE). The aim of the toolkit is to enable users to incorporate biodiversity features within their development design.
Halloween is here and it seems that bats are everywhere, but most of those not made of plastic are likely to be finding places to get safely tucked up for the winter; hibernating in buildings, caves and trees across the country. And our hard-working ecologists can take a well earned breather; many long evenings and (very) early mornings of bat surveys are over for another year!
Natural England’s European Protected Species Newsletter (July 2011) raised some serious concerns over some consultants advice in respect to when a mitigation licence is required. Specifically these relate to: