Bat Survey and Works Under Licence at a 19th Century Mansion House
Bat Surveys of a 19th Century Mansion
A 19th century mansion, used as office premises, was to be subject to health and safety related refurbishment works. Echoes Ecology Ltd were appointed in 2015 to carry out a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) for bats and activity surveys.
Preliminary Roost Assessment for Bats
The structure was assessed as having high suitability to support roosting bats. Upon inspection of the loft spaces by a Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) licensed bat worker, bat droppings were found in five loft spaces out of 11.
During the PRA, one of the loft spaces of the structure was found to be in use by a pine marten (Martes martes). Numerous scats and prey remains, including a red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) tail, were also found.
Bat Activity Surveys
During the activity surveys, a total of five roosts were located within the structure. A small soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) maternity roost of 36 bats was identified emerging from under the barge boards and slates of one of the gable ends. Three solitary pipistrelle roosts were found in other locations around the building. In addition, a small roost of Myotis species of bat (likely Natterer’s bats (Myotis nattereri)) containing five bats was located within an extension to the main building. The species was not able to be confirmed due to the similar echolocation characteristics of bat species within the Myotis genus.
As a result of close communication between the client and Echoes Ecology, in addition to a well-planned survey methodology, crucial data was obtained regarding the presence of protected species on site. These findings were the base of a robust survey report and method statement that supplemented the Habitats Regulations Licence application, which was essential for the necessary health and safety works to lawfully proceed within the strict timescales imposed by budgets.
As the scope of works did not include potential disturbance or obstruction of access to the pine marten den or its destruction, no pine marten licence was necessary for the proposed works to proceed.