Arbtech undertook a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) on an 18th Century Farmhouse in St. Lawrence that was proposed to be renovated as a dwelling.
The PRA confirmed that the building was both a summer and likely winter day roost for pipistrelle bats. Samples of droppings collected around the building were DNA analysed at the University of Warwick and this confirmed the presence of common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus as well as the island’s lesser white toothed shrew Crocidura suaveolens.
The Company was able to take this information and form a precautionary Method Statement that allowed the Department of the Environment to issue a bat licence for the works. This saved the client very precious months and allowed the build to be achieved during the excellent weather of 2018 rather than be delayed until the end of the bat season in the late summer of 2018.
The Company utilises the BCT Bat Survey Guidelines but the circumstances generated by the fact that the building was effectively a shell combined with the power of the DNA analysis allowed us to conclude that a precautionary Method Statement approach would assure the protection of species as well as deliver a favourable client outcome.
A combination of mitigation and compensation measures have allowed the provision of bat features for a range of island species; including the formation of a dedicated bat space in the adjoining pigsty that will be suitable for species such as the free-flying long-eared bats as well as the smaller roost crawling species.
Efforts to encourage the nesting of the kestrel Falco tinnunculus which was known to have previously nested within the building already appear to be showing signs of success. Well thought out building design with ecological advice can generate a huge amount of opportunity for the promotion of island biodiversity.
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