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Case Studies

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Project Name:
Fort Bovisand, Bat Surveys
Client:
ADP Architects
Year:
Oct 31, 2014
Keywords:
Grey long eared bat, horseshoe bat, emergence survey, swarming survey, NVC survey
Summary:
Fort Bovisand is a disused building in Plymouth. The buildings were formally used as a military base to defend the entrance of Plymouth Sound. More recently, it ...

Fort Bovisand is a disused building in Plymouth. The buildings were formally used as a military base to defend the entrance of Plymouth Sound. More recently, it has been used as a dive school; however, the site has been disused since 2013. Funding has now been granted to renovate the site into new accommodation and commercial businesses, including a café.

Ecosulis were commissioned to undertake bat emergence and swarming surveys on the site, using 26 surveyors, to assess the current roost status. Evidence of roosting horseshoe and grey long-eared has been recorded roosting within the buildings. Bat roosts are protected under The Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010, therefore further survey works are required to inform a Natural England Licence Application for the works, as well as to inform planning.

Surveys undertaken in 2014 recorded bat roosts within both the Upper and the Lower fort buildings. A total of 26 separate roosts supporting five different species were recorded.  

 

Species

Number of individual Roosts Identified

Long Eared Bats

5

Common Pipistrelle

2

Soprano Pipistrelle

1

Lesser Horseshoe

12

Greater Horseshoe

6

 

The significance of the roosts on the site cannot be determined without further survey works in Spring and Summer, however the presence of so many horseshoe bat roosts within the buildings will require careful mitigation.

Lesser and greater horseshoe bats are rare in Britain and have a distribution limited to the south-west, Wales, western England and western Ireland. Grey long-eared bats are considered to be one of the UK’s rarest species. It has an extremely limited distribution to the southernmost coasts of the British Isles.

These three species are both rare, but also have different roost requirements. As such, if the development were to proceed, a mitigation strategy would need to be compiled to retain opportunities for the three species’ roosting requirements without hindering the proposed renovation works.

In addition, Ecosulis were commissioned to undertake a National Vegetation Classification (NVC) assessment of the site to assess the status of the Bovisand County Wildlife Site (CWS). This survey was undertaken to record any areas of coastal grassland or scrub habitats potentially associated with the CWS.

The data collected will also inform an Ecological Impact Assessment and a Habitat Regulations Assessment for the proposals.

 

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