Bats forage over the sea; implications for off-shore wind farms?

A recent research paper from Sweden has confirmed that resident and migratory species of bats will fly off-shore to forage where there is a plentiful food supply. Of particular note, bats were recorded investigating an off-shore wind farm and even resting on turbines. Although the research is specific to the Swedish coast it does raise questions about whether similar behaviour is being exhibited elsewhere off the coast line of northern Europe. This research, linked to data relating to migration of Nathusius Pipistrelle bat between the UK and northern continental Europe, raises questions as to whether large off-shore wind farms should assess potential impacts on bats.

Wind farms, bat and bird survey guidance

The spring and summer bird and bat survey seasons are approaching fast, and surveys for these species are seasonally constrained.

There have recently been changes to the suggested approach to wind farm bird survey in England, with the publication of Natural England (NE) guidance in early 2010.  Potential impacts on bats – very much the emerging issue with regard to terrestrial wind farms – have to date been difficult to assess due to the lack of standard survey guidance and limited information on bat populations.

BWEA31, Liverpool

BSG will be exhibiting at BWEA’s (British Wind Energy Association) 31st annual conference and exhibition in Liverpool in October. The event focuses on developments in wind, wave and tidal energy, and small wind systems, and is attended by a wide range of organisations with an interest in renewable energy. Guy Miller and Matt Hobbs from our dedicated renewables team will be manning the stand during the conference and will be available to discuss birds, bats and any other ecology issues.

 

Habitat connectivity mapping in Wales

BSG Partner James Gillespie has co-authored a paper on ‘Applying Connectivity Mapping to Spatial Planning in Wales’.

Connectivity maps are key elements of a wider framework of actions to improve connectivity and protect biodiversity. There is strong political interest in this approach in Wales and a drive to include concepts of ecological connectivity within spatial planning at local and national levels to contribute to a broader green infrastructure. This paper reviews the overall approach in Wales to date and reports on the findings of studies in South East Wales.

Who killed the Cockney Sparrer?

Dr Kate Vincent was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 regarding her PhD research thesis findings for programme investigating the causes of the decline of the urban House Sparrow. Tom Heap presents the programme ‘Who Killed the Cockney Sparrer?’ which investigates who, or what, is killing the once common house sparrow.

Ecobuild 2009 Birds and buildings

Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event dedicated to sustainable design, construction and the built environment. The exhibition was held at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre in London between 3rd and 5th March. There were 800 exhibitors, as well as conference and seminar sessions.