A bat scoping survey and bird scoping survey of a farm building in Milton Green, Cheshire was carried out by UES. Milton Green is a small village south of Chester. The bat survey involved a detailed inspection of the building which will be affected by the planned development. Furthermore, signs that the building is used by nesting birds were also searched for. Nesting birds are protected under the wildlife and countryside act and it constitutes and offence if nesting birds are disturbed, damaged, or killed.

When undertaking a bat scoping survey surveyors are looking for signs of use by bats. These signs can be tiny scratches on timbers, or even areas of smooth timber where bats have been rubbing against them. Bat droppings, which are only a few millimeters long, are one of the field signs that may be left behind. Experienced surveyors can distinguish between different types of bats by the droppings and feeding remains they might produce.

If signs of use by bats are found in the barn, or the barn has the potential to support roosting bats, then further bat surveys are carried out to record bats emerging from or returning to roost in the structure at dusk and dawn. These bat emergence and return roost surveys can only be carried out in accordance with the bat survey guidelines 2012. The guidelines state between May and August as the optimum period with temperatures above 10 Celsius.

Fortunately, in this case, no further surveys were required as the building was assessed by our expert ecologists as having negligible potential to support roosting bats.