TMA Ecology Team Rehouse Roosting Bats
This November, Tim Moya Associates Ecology Team has been involved in two projects relocating roosting bats from buildings before demolition.
The two sites – a large hotel in Somerset and a six-bedroom house in Hertfordshire - were both found to contain roosting populations of bats including common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats.
UK bat numbers have fallen dramatically in recent decades and now all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and European legislation. Works impacting bat roosts can only be undertaken legally once a special licence has been granted by Natural England.
In order for the bats to be re-located, both development sites included new bat houses within their designs. Following advice from TMA, these structures were enhanced for roosting bats by including access holes, bat roost boxes and strategically positioned breeding compartments designed to retain heat from sunlight.
During demolition, areas of the existing buildings used by roosting bats were dismantled carefully under supervision by TMA ecologists. Any bats found were given a quick health check and then released into the bat house.
The presence of bats and other protected species are material considerations within planning applications. Bat activity surveys can only be undertaken in the summer (May to September) but ‘scoping’ inspections of buildings can be undertaken at any time of year and often flag up the presence of bats at the earliest opportunity.
One of the common pipistrelle bats relocated
One of the specially designed bat houses