Bat Assessment for Housing Development

The brief

A site located within the Brookmans Park area of Welwyn, Hatfield is being prompted for housing within the local plan. MKA Ecology was commissioned to assess the bat activity in support of this. Transect surveys were required in order to identify the bat species present, assess how they used the site, and identify potential impacts of the development.

What did we do?

The Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) identified multiple features on site suitable for supporting bats. These included; mature trees providing potential roosting opportunities, and grassland and scrub providing foraging opportunities and hedgerows providing commuting opportunities. The likelihood of the site providing valuable foraging and commuting habitat was considered to be moderate.

A bat activity survey was commissioned following recommendations arising from the PEA. These included the following actions:

  • To complete a bat activity survey using transects and static detectors;
  • To identify the assemblage of bat species present and level of bat activity throughout the site;
  • To locate any key foraging and commuting areas;
  • To assess the impacts of the proposed development on bat activity; and
  • To detail recommendations for mitigation and propose any suitable habitat enhancements for bat species.

At least five species of bat were recorded during the bat surveys. Our recommendations aimed to minimise negative impacts of the development, and to provide opportunities for ecological enhancement. These included a 15 meter buffer zone along the woodland edge planted with native species, and retention of ponds as well as a hedgerow which was used as a commuting route by bats.

What was the outcome for the client?

The project design team have been provided with information on which habitats are valuable for foraging and commuting bats, and are also aware of which habitats they need to retain and enhance within the design scheme.

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What our clients said

“I would happily recommend you / endorse your work with any of my colleagues and other departments and would recommend you directly to any other Landlords/ developers I work with.”

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