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Bird and bat roosting boxes can be built into the fabric of a building without making major changes to the appearance or integrity of the design.

Habitat creation and mitigation advice Manchester Metropolitan University

United Environmental Services were commissioned to design mitigation measures for birds and bats into the new sports science centre at Manchester Metropolitan University's site in Crewe, Cheshire.

UES were contacted during the planning stage of the project to provide advice on protected species, and the best ways to provide improved habitats for local populations of birds and bats. UES worked closely with Drivers Jonas and their architects in order to get the best results for the client and wildlife.

The local planning authority's ecologist was consulted at an early stage to ensure that local planning policies were being met and help to keep the development within time scales.

The most suitable solution for the site was bat and bird boxes incorporated into the fabric of the building, and a planting scheme to encourage insect and bird activity throughout the year.

Planning conditions were discharged and the project went ahead on time.

UES recently re-visited the site and inspected the bat and bird boxes from the ground. Bat droppings could be seen at the entrances of the bat boxes indicating that they had been occupied within months of being created.

It is a good example of the way that good planning and communication between different parts of the project team, and local planning authority can help to provide positive results for developers and wildlife alike. The bats using the boxes are probably one or more of a number of local species. Brown long eared bats, pipistrelle bats Noctule bats and Myotis species such as Whiskered and brandt's bats are all resident in the Cheshire countryside local to the facility.

Ex Manchester United star Bobby Charlton is due to open the £10million sports science facility this Friday.

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