Archive for January, 2011

Beavers could help to create bat habitat

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Beavers thinning out woodlands may help to create good quality feeding habitat for aerial hunting bats.

A study carried out by researchers from the University of Gdansk, Poland has shown that bats may be one of the species to benefit from the reintroduction of the European Beaver. The study showed that trees felled by beavers opened up the woodland and the number of aerial hunting bats increased. The bats also benefitted from the damming activities of the beaver which led to the flooding of areas of woodland, and an increase in the numbers of insect prey for the bats.

Bat surveys carried out by the research group indicated that the species which benefitted most were species such as common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and nathusius pipistrelle and also the noctule bat.

Daubentons bats which are closely associated with water did not benefit as much as expected. This is possibly because daubentons bats like to hunt low over water using a reflected echolocation pulse to locate prey. The water in the flooded woodlands was quickly populated by aquatic plant species such as duckweed which scatters the echolocation pulse making hunting more difficult.

The reintroduction of the beaver could benefit many species such as the great crested newt.

The full article can be found by clicking the link below

Halifax firm in court for series of asbestos charges

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

A property management company was fined £30,100 today after admitting a series of offences which led to workers being exposed to asbestos fibres.

MA Estates Limited of Holmfield, Halifax, the owner and landlord of a factory building in Holdsfield Road, was prosecuted by HSE for failing to properly manage the removal of asbestos-containing materials when employees were replacing a roof at the factory in June 2007.

For the full press release see the link below

Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

United Environmental Services are a CHAS accredited contractor, and have been accredited since 2009. The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme or CHAS is a government run scheme, which aims to improve health and safety and remove duplication in the procurement process.

To qualify for CHAS accreditation a company is assessed on the following

  1. Health and safety policy statement;
  2. Their organisation for health and safety;
  3. Their specific health and safety arrangements to a standard acceptable to our buyers and to others.

By becoming CHAS accredited we have removed the need for companies using our services to assess our health and safety policies. This saves time and money when arranging for work to be completed and helps to give all parties involved the peace of mind that work is being carried out with proper regard to safety.

Health and safety is always a concern as the surveys we do are often in inaccessible and dangerous places. Bat surveys can be in run down buildings and involve climbing up large trees for aerial inspections. Great crested newt surveys are carried out in ponds in the dark. We have always tried to ensure that we work as safely as is possible, becoming CHAS accredited has allowed us to be recognised for that.

More details of the scheme can be found by clicking the link below

Article on the Handling and Veterinary Care of British Bats

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

An article has been published on the Inpractice website which gives guidance to veterinarians on the care of British bats. Bats are often taken in to care by members of the public or volunteer bat workers.

Some of the common injuries found in bats are when domestic cats attack bats. Cats will wait outside the bat roost entrance and then attack bats as they leave the roost. The injuries associated with this are often torn wings and punctures. The wings of an injured bat will sometimes heal naturally other more serious injuries may result in death or unfortunately euthanasia.

Bats are also often injured by members of the public when they discover bats in their houses and try to catch them. The types of injuries found are on the bat are often broken wings and legs form being handled too roughly. A bat with broken legs cannot roost, feed or clean itself and will die without intervention.

If bats are found in the home or injured the best thing to do is call the bat conservation trust who will arrange for a bat worker to come and collect the bat and take it to get appropriate care.

The bat conservation trust helpline number is 0845 1300 228

Click on the link below for a pdf of the full article