Shropshire Bat Surveys

2017 was busy year for our Shropshire bat ecologists!

Our team completed in excess of 50 bat surveys to inform planning applications, with surveys of many structures undertaken including a number of primary schools, hotels, factories, a public house, farm complexes, barns and house redevelopments. BiOME also completed static monitoring and transect surveys at a number of wind farm sites in Wales.

Our specialist team of tree climbing bat surveyors in Shropshire assisted developers with the surveys of trees to be impacted by developments in rural and urban locations as well as monitoring bat boxes erected as part of mitigation schemes.

During these surveys numerous bats were encountered and roosts identified, which resulted in the production and submission of over 20 European Protected Species bat mitigation licence applications.

We also continued to monitor a colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bats, first identified by our surveyors in 2016, which considerably expanded the known range of this species in Shropshire.

We look forward to another successful year in 2018 supporting clients in Shropshire, and beyond. If you require ecological support in Shropshire please contact Martyn Owen.

Common Pipistrelle droppings within a roof void

Save our Curlews Project - Shropshire

The Curlew is a species very close to our hearts; we are therefore delighted to be involved with an important conservation project taking place in Shropshire this year. 

The Curlew population of this County, in common with most others, is declining rapidly. This project aims to find and monitor nests with cameras to determine the cause of failure or productivity, thus enabling targeted conservation in future years.

Full details of the project are available on the Webzine:

https://biomeecology.com/research/2018/02/save-curlews-project/

IMMEDIATE CONSERVATION ACTION IS DEEMED NECESSARY IF THE EVOCATIVE BUBBLING SONG OF THE CURLEW IS NOT TO BE LOST FROM THE COUNTY FOREVER.
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Tree Climbing

We’ve been busy tree climbing this winter! Bat surveys of trees are necessary where development proposals include tree felling or lopping where bats or their roosts could be directly impacted, if present. Surveys may also be needed in circumstances where an indirect impact is possible (e.g. through lighting).

The survey method is a staged process starting with a preliminary ground level roost inspection, which may be followed by a Potential Roost Feature inspection, presence/likely absence and/or roost characterisation surveys.

Our BiOME ecologists are qualified in Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue and have accumulated many hours high up in trees in recent years. This qualification, along with the team members relevant bat survey/disturbance licences, allowed BiOME to complete bat roost surveys of trees at numerous sites for clients across the UK.

 

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Habitats Regulations Assessment - Wales & England

In 1992 member states of the European Union (EU) adopted legislation designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. This legislation is referred to as the Habitats Directive and complements the Birds Directive. The basis of both these Directives was the creation of a network of protected sites, collectively called Natura 2000 sites (also referred to as ‘European sites’).

Under Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive, any project / plan likely to have a significant impact upon Natura 2000 sites (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects) must be subject to Appropriate Assessment by a competent authority. The process for determining whether an Appropriate Assessment is required (screening), together with the Appropriate Assessment itself (where it is considered necessary following screening), is known as Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and is set out in Regulation 48 of the Habitats Regulations.

Over the course of the last twelve months BiOME have been commissioned by clients to complete the required ecology work in relation to a number of proposed developments (harbour improvements, a leisure centre, road upgrade and single turbines) in close proximity to coastal Natura 2000 sites, in both England and Wales. 

To inform the HRA process, robust, comprehensive and repeatable bird surveys were required. These surveys were designed and completed by our in-house team of highly experienced ornithologists, producing a dataset upon which it was possible to fully and confidently assess the impacts of the proposed development, both alone and in-combination with other projects.

We look forward to completing the post-construction ornithological monitoring in relation to these projects in future years.