Research on Bat Box use at Finemere

Since 2008 Hannah Bilston, a Senior Ecologist in our Oxford office, has been monitoring bat populations in Finemere Wood, an ancient woodland in Buckinghamshire. The project was initiated by the North Bucks Bat Group (NBBG) in 2003 and formed the study site for Hannah’s MSc research into factors affecting bat box selection within Finemere Wood between 2009 and 2011.

Seafaring bats – Evidence of Migration?

In 2007 Ahlén et al published an account of bats (both non-migratory and migratory species) foraging over the Baltic Sea at an off-shore wind farm in southern Scandinavia. That study and previous reports of bats being found on platforms in the North Sea (e.g. Russ, 2001, Boshamer & Bekker, 2008) have stimulated discussion about the extent to which bats cross or fly out over the sea on migration or to forage.

Laura Grant to speak at National Bat Conference (13-15th September)

Laura Garnt, a Senior Ecologist at our Oxford office, will be leading a workshop on Bat Migration at the Bat Conservation Trust’s annual National Bat Conference at the University of Warwick this weekend (13-15 September 2013). The workshop will be structured around BSG Ecology’s on-going research that aims to establish whether there is regular migratory movement of bats between the UK and mainland Europe.

Matt Hobbs to Speak at Spurn Migration Festival (7th September)

Principal Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the Spurn Migration Festival in East Yorkshire on the subject of bat migration and BSG Ecology’s on-going research project to look at bat migration patterns at coastal sites around England. The event is the first of its kind in the UK and Matt’s talk will be incorporated into a busy programme of events during 6-8 September, that will include guided migration watches, sea-watching, bird-ringing demonstrations, moth-trapping and illustrated talks.

Video of Lesser Horseshoe Bat Emergence

This video shows an emergence of lesser horseshoe bats from the roof space of a building near BSG Ecology’s Monmouth office. It was taken during a training evening led by Principal Ecologist Matt Hobbs on Monday 22nd July 2013.

What is an appropriate level of ecological work to support a single (large) turbine application?

There has been a considerable rise in the number of single turbine proposals over the past few years.  This has come about primarily as a result of the introduction of Government feed-in tariffs, which have provided incentives to develop single turbine schemes.  Despite the incentives, these small schemes generally have a limited budget if they are to be viable development propositions and sources of renewable energy.

Pilot Study on Bat Migration at Dungeness

There is currently considerable uncertainty as to the extent to which bats migrate in and out of the UK from Continental Europe, although many experts in UK bat ecology consider that some degree of migration occurs.  Small scale research studies, development-related survey at coastal sites and records of bats on vessels and offshore oil rigs have provided indications that migratory movements occur in spring and autumn.  However, this gap in current knowledge does not appear to be being addressed through strategic studies.

Tree climbing survey for bats

Tree climbing surveys (sometimes known as aerial inspection surveys) are an effective way to assess a tree’s potential to support bats. This technique, which uses access skills borrowed from tree surgery, is far more definitive than ground-based survey, and can be very cost-effective.

Presentation to Public Inspectors

Dr Peter Shepherd and Owain Gabb were invited by the Planning Inspectorate to give presentations on ecological issues arising from wind energy proposals to a two day conference of planning inspectors in Bristol on the 24th and 25th January 2013. The presentation covered the range of ecological issues that have featured at planning inquiries into wind farm developments between 2005 and 2010, but focused primarily on issues relating to impacts on bats and birds.

BSG presents Bats and Wind Farms paper to the IEEM autumn conference

The recent autumn IEEM conference in Cardiff (7-8 November) had a theme of ‘Renewable Energy and Biodiversity Impacts’. Senior Ecologist Matt Hobbs gave a presentation on applying the BCT Guidance on surveying for bats at onshore wind farms, for which he is the lead author. The presentation introduced and set out the rationale of the guidance, as well as some of the detailed methods that it includes. More challenging issues were also tackled, such as when to collect data at height and when and how to correlate weather data to recorded bat activity, to inform wind farm curtailment schemes

BSG Ecology at RenewableUK, Glasgow (Stand 67)

BSG Ecology is exhibiting at Stand 67 of Renewable UK, Glasgow between 30th October and 1st November 2012. The conference is at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow and will address policy, development and technical aspects of UK onshore and offshore wind energy, wave and tidal energy.