Corbel Conservation Ltd
Keystone Ecology were commissioned to undertake surveys, apply for and implement an EPS licence and undertake monitoring surveys of a grade I listed mansion in Somerset, which included a Lesser Horseshoe Bat maternity colony and hibernation roost.
What did we do?
- Following preliminary surveys, we designed and implemented a suite surveys of the building and cellars to confirm the status of the identified roosts.
- Analysed baseline bat survey data to assess potential impacts of building restoration and repair under an enforcement notice from English Heritage on resident bat roosts and local bat populations.
- Designed an appropriate mitigation/compensation strategy and applied for, and thereafter implemented an EPS licence in respect of bats.
- Prevented delay in work schedule by enabling specified works whilst waiting for a modified EPS licence to be secured once monitoring surveys identified an increase in bat activity on site.
- Implemented a strategy to ensure protection of bats within the property without compromising the delivery of the overall project upon the discovery of a status change on site.
How did we do it?
- The bat surveys were undertaken by licensed bat surveyors with extensive experience of complex buildings to ensure the collection of robust field data.
- Survey effort and timings were agreed with Natural England prior to implementation and undertaken in line with best practice guidance.
- Surveys established precise bat numbers and movement within the buildings. Results were used to identify specified areas of the building where works could progress preventing delays in the work programme.
- Methods to address dry rot and minor roof/masonry works were agreed with Natural England.
- Regular site meetings were organised with the client to discuss mitigation options, approve design and measures to ensure the continued exclusion of bats from the property.
What were the outcomes?
- An EPS licence was successfully obtained and exclusion and re-roofing work commenced on schedule. Dry rot treatment, masonry repairs and additional works continued before securing the modified licence needed due to change in site status.
- Mitigation/compensation for bats was delivered in accordance with the licence and adapted in light of the roost status increase without compromising budget or programme of works.
- Monitoring has shown bats have quickly used new roosting provisions and continue to use those retained, confirming that favourable conservation status has been maintained.