In 2020, a building firm that carried out demolition work at a site in nearby Greenwich that was known to be inhabited by bats was handed a £600,000 fine. The firm also had to pay costs of £30,000 and made a £20,000 donation to the Bat Conservation Trust. Even if their presence is not detected beforehand, there are still fines for disturbing bats. Imprisonment is also a possibility.
The Bat Conservation Trust course covers bat biology and ecology, bats in buildings, legalisation, and assessing potential impacts of the works. It also includes a fieldwork task to complete and Murray Birrell’s co-founder and director, Stuart Birrell, was able to help!
Stuart’s house happened to have at the time a large Soprano Pipistrelle Maternity Roost. The bats were in the roof void, attracted to the warm south-facing wall and the ideal hunting ground surrounding the property. Rory was able to test out the bat detector on these ones, as well as other areas to locate more bats.
There are over 1,400 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide.
For more information on bats, visit the Bat Conservation Trust website.
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