Arbtech: Bat Survey Specialists in Gloucestershire
Home of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham racecourse and the Severn Valley, the picturesque county of Gloucestershire is located in the Southwest of England bordering the Welsh county of Monmouthshire. The county possesses a number of parks and nature attractions, including Symonds Yat Rock, Lower Woods Nature Reserve and the Royal Forest of Dean.
Gloucestershire’s incredible biodiversity
The Royal Forest of Dean is one of England’s few remaining ancient forests, boasting 27,000 acres of woodland. It was designated as a National Forest Park in 1938, known as the ‘Queen of Forests’, it oozes an outstanding range of natural beauty and has given inspiration for many writers including JK Rowling and Tolkien. With so much open space, trees and vegetation, the forest is bustling with wildlife, from fallow deer, badgers, wild boar, a variety of birds and species of bats.
Gloucestershire’s rarest species of bat
Residing in the Forest and surrounding areas are a number of bat species. The Lesser Horseshoe bat for example forages for insects in the woodlands and prefer to roost in underground sites and buildings. The woodland is thought to be a refuge for this species due to its unique environment and biodiversity.
The Greater Horseshoe bat has just known two maternity colonies in Gloucestershire. One of these colonies is the famous Woodchester Mansion colony – which has been extensively studied by Dr Roger Ransome: the longest continuous study of any wild mammal population by a single person in the world!
The Bechstein’s bat is very rare in Gloucestershire. They roost in the holes in mature woodland during the summer season, which could explain observations of the in the Forest of Dean and amongst the Cotswold Scarp, because this species has not been found anywhere else across the county.
Finally, the Serotine bat is a species with a dispersed distribution within the county. The way in which the species is distributed suggests that the Cotswold Waterpark and Valleys are both important areas of foraging habitat for Serotines in Gloucestershire.
Conversation organisations and getting involved
Gloucestershire Bat Group work closely with Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Records (GCER). The objectives and campaigns of the group is to educate and conserve the biodiversity and green spaces we have. They carry out active conservation and an array of educational endeavours to educate the public about the various bat species found across the county. Gloucestershire Bat Group also work closely with a variety of other conservation organisations such as The Bat Conservation Trust, Natural England, the Cotswold Water Park Society and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Many of their members are also involved in the National Bat Monitoring programme.
When might you need a bat survey in Gloucestershire?
Over the last century, the number of bats in the UK have declined. Subsequently, various statues and Acts of Parliament protect bats from disturbance and harm.
This is why if you’re planning on doing some much-needed work, seeking planning permission or wanting to remove a very large, old tree from your garden, you need to seek the advice of a professional ecologist to assess your next steps. These bat surveys consist of a Preliminary Roost Assessment (phase one assessment) and in some cases, a further assessment called a Bat Emergence Survey (phase two.)
If you want to find out more about our prices and timescales for bat surveys in Gloucestershire, just contact us on the number above, or complete our contact form.
Find out more about bats, the law and how we can help minimise costs and delays on your project
If you’re interested in the work that the Gloucestershire Bat Group carry out and want to get involved, you could join the group on Facebook. You could also give our head of ecology, Chris Formaggia or senior ecologist Jonathan Studdard a call. They both cover Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, providing development professionals with timely advice and mitigation reports to remove any bat survey objections to their planning applications.