Protected Species | Peak District Bats
Peak Ecology have undertaken scores of smaller bat surveys in the Derbyshire Peak District, Staffordshire and surrounding areas.
These have mainly involved barn conversions, loft conversions, building extensions, small farm-based projects and other smaller developments. Surveys are usually undertaken to comply with the planning process.
Often no bats nor evidence of bats are found during the surveys. Conversely bat roosts are found from time to time and these usually require some mitigation measures to be put in place. This may simply be a matter of timing of works and making sure bats can return to the building. Where this is not possible, a European Protected Species (EPS) license maybe required, this would be applied for in a situation where a bat roost would be destroyed, rendered unusable or materially altered by the proposed development. In these situations compensatory mitigation measures are usually put in place and monitored under the license agreement. It is very rare that a small development on a property cannot be undertaken due to the presence of bats.
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Peak District Bats | Case Study
Bat Survey of Chapel – Ashover, Derbyshire
Peak Ecology bat surveyors undertook an inspection survey of a disused chapel near Ashover in Derbyshire. No evidence of bats was found in the building, although there were plenty of potential features that could be used by bats. The only access to the main roof void was high up on an external gable end.
A view into the loft space was gained through the entrance hatch, although it was not safe to climb inside from the top of the ladder. A few bat droppings were seen from the hatch entrance. In the meantime an emergence survey was undertaken to record any bats as they flew out of the roost, no bats were recorded emerging from the building although pipistrelles were present in the area.
A decision was made to make a small loft hatch into the roof void from inside the chapel to enable access inside. This was made directly next to the external hatch where no bat droppings were seen. From this new hatch, access was gained and it was soon apparent that a large accumulation of bat droppings was present mainly beneath the ridge board between the joists These were old, but fresh droppings were also present.
It was inconclusive what species they derived from, so a sample was sent for DNA analysis. The results showed the droppings came from the whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus and although the bats were not present at the time of survey it was clear that they were using the loft as a roost. Our report was issued which contained recommendations for further survey in the spring/summer to establish the size and status of the roost and appropriate mitigation measures.