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.

The advantages of non-standard surveys: a Badger bait marking case study

Wildlife legislation and licensing requirements can often lead to a relatively standard suite of ecological surveys being undertaken to support planning applications.  However, in some cases, non-standard surveys can be very helpful in increasing confidence in the conclusions of an assessment, informing mitigation strategies and securing licences. 

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.

Matt Hobbs to Speak at IEEM Autumn Conference (7th November)

Senior Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the IEEM Autumn Conference in Cardiff on the subject of the Bat Conservation Trust’s onshore wind farm guidance.  Matt’s talk will take place on Wednesday 7 November, and is entitled “Bat Surveys for Wind Farms – Best Practice.”

BSG Ecology wins Bat Roost Award

BSG Ecology was delighted to receive the inaugural award for best roost mitigation project from the Bat Conservation Trust for our work at Totterdown Barns in Gloucestershire. The award not only recognises BSG’s role in delivering this project, but also that of the architect Mathewson Waters and the developer Rivar Ltd.  Effective collaboration was essential to arrive at a winning design for the conversion to residential use.

Bats and Wind Farms in Europe – Continental Scale Effects?

This article is part of our on-going review of new research into wind farm impacts on bats. It considers a recent paper published in the journal Biological Conservation by Voigt et al. (2012) titled “The catchment area of wind farms for European bats: a plea for international regulations¹”. It makes interesting and challenging reading for those involved in wind farm development in continental Europe, and has some possible implications for future assessment of impacts on bats at wind energy installations within the UK both on-shore and off-shore.