JCA was instructed by our client to assess a former hotel for the potential of supporting bat species; in the form of roosting sites, foraging habitat and/or commuting routes. The proposed development included conversion of the existing hotel and the demolition of the remainder of the structure.
Firstly, our ecological consultants carried out a bat scoping survey and the site was considered to have a high potential for supporting bats. As a result of this, it then determined that our ecologists needed to carry out further surveys in the form of emergence/re-entry and hibernation surveys.
The hibernation surveys were carried out in mid-January and Mid-February and consisted of a detailed and systematic inspection of all cracks, crevices and voids suitable for hibernating bats in the loft void. Static bat detectors were also deployed within identified potential hibernation roost areas. In this instance, two static Anabat detectors were placed at the two ends of the loft void and left for a total of 35 days. Our ecologist confirmed that there was no evidence of bats identified during either site visit; with no physical sightings of bats identified during the endoscopic inspection.
The final stage was the emergence and re-entry surveys which were carried out later in the year during the months of May & June. The bat re-entry survey confirmed three common pipistrelle bats re-entering the buildings Two bats re-entered the front of building, one on the lower floor window flashing and the second on the second floor of the building in a gap in the mortar of a roof tile. The third bat re-entered under the valley lead flashing to the rear of buildings.
As bats had been confirmed to be roosting at the hotel, a bat mitigation licence was required therefore JCA put together a mitigation strategy for our client which detailed that additional bat roosting features in the form of bat boxes and bat tubes would be required. In addition wildlife lighting was to be utilised throughout the site and landscape planting of native trees & shrubs to be carried out at the borders of the site.