Rookery Farmhouse the day AEcol first became involved.A purpose-built bat dormer.The internal schute of the dormer which allows bats to enter but keeps the weather out.A lesser horseshoe bat surveys our surveyor.A brown long-eared bat makes itself at home in the new roof.

Domestic Ecology Survey - Rookery Farm

We perform approximately 20 domestic surveys a year and have a dedicated team for this part of our business. In the greater percentage of cases we encounter very little of note. However, every once in a while we do find a legally protected species and have to find ways in which the project can proceed within the law, to the satisfaction of the householder, Planning Authority and the species concerned.

Rookery Farm: The problem

 When the owners of Rookery Farm wanted to restore the near-derelict Grade II listed house to its former glory their plans were halted due to the presence of lesser horseshoe-bats. However, the perilous state of the structure meant that urgent action was needed if the building wasn't to collapse.

Rookery Farm: The solution

 We don't dither when someone is panicking. The legal protection afforded to bats meant that care was needed, but the urgent need for action meant that so to were some difficult decisions; after all, the building collapsing wouldn't be good for the bats either!

 In our early discussions with the owner we obtained all the necessary contact details for their architects and an engineer, along with those of the local council ecologist. As it was evident that remedial action was moderately urgent, we dispatched a survey team to meet the engineer and a scaffolding contractor on-site later the same day. At the same time we liaised with Natural England (the governments advisor on the natural environment) and the Avon & Somerset Constabulary Wildlife Crime Officer to ensure the right people were kept informed of the situation regarding the bats, the house and the action we proposed to take.

 The house was shored-up, taking as much care as possible not to harm the bats. We then performed a status assessment and found that three species of bats were present; common pipistrelles, brown long-eared bats and lesser horseshoe bats. Having established the true status of bats at the property, we obtained the necessary licence from Natural England to allow the restoration to take place within the law. The house was saved, the restoration is now in its final stages, the number of bats at the property has increased and yet, if you didn't know the bats were there, you'd probably never guess...

 If you need an ecology survey to support your planning application, call us today on 01278 429290 for a no obligation quote. Alternatively email Henry Andrews at henry.andrews@aecol.co.uk