Well it’s been a long cold winter and we’ve all had a good rest but spring is just around the corner and we are gearing up for another busy year. Here are a few of the projects we are currently working on.

Cheshire: bats and great crested newts
We are currently in the planning stages of a large project in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The plans involve bat surveys (some of which we did last year), European protected species licensing, the planning and construction of a large bat barn prior to the start of development. Brown long eared bats, pipistrelles and myotis species were found during the bat surveys so the barn will be designed with these species in mind. The roost which is in place is currently being monitored using an anabat remote bat detector and several dataloggers to record temperature and humidity data. Whiskered bats and Brandt’s bats are present at the bat barns which were built for Manchester airport, only a few miles away. The project also requires great crested newt surveys on ponds in and around the site footprint. If great crested newts are found then a mitigation plan will have to be designed and an EPS licence application submitted to Natural England.

Merseyside: bats, great crested newts, water vole, barn owls
A golf course development on Merseyside which United Environmental Services were involved in last year still has work to be done as a condition of the licence. This will involve de-silting the ponds to improve their quality for great crested newts, and amphibians in general. The fitting of a large number of bat boxes around the site. The fitting of a number of bird boxes. Management of the woodlands. Management of the watercourse which has water voles resident. As a result of the great crested newt trapping scheme last year the on site ponds must also be monitored for the next 5 years.

Cambridgeshire: great crested newts, bats, reptiles and red kites
We also have great crested newt monitoring contracts at a site in Cambridgeshire not far from Stamford in Lincolnshire. The site was trapped out in 2008 and over 500 great crested newts relocated to new ponds. The site is rich in many species of wildlife and sits next to a SSSI woodland. Red kites are nesting close to the site and can often be seen hunting close by. Several species of reptiles were found during the trapping including, grass snake, slow worm and common lizard.

Staffordshire: bat monitoring
Bat monitoring is ongoing at the site of a former mill in Tunstall near Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire after a small number of pipistrelle bats were found to be using one of the buildings prior to demolition. Monitoring work will carry on until the new buildings have been built with replacement bat roosts built into the fabric of the buildings.