I was asked to survey a lovely old farmhouse in Ashbourne last December. My clients had moved in during the summer and have grand plans to remodel the house for their family including conversion of an outbuilding and a new extension.
During the preliminary roost assessment, I found evidence of bats at the farm – Natterer’s bats roost in the loft and long-eared bats use an outbuilding as a feeding perch (where they hang to consume moths which are too large to eat in flight). Typically this would mean long delays until May before evening surveys could start and gather more information about the roosts, then submit that to Derbyshire Dales District Council and wait for planning to be granted, and then apply for a licence to allow works to lawfully continue. That is a lot of delay for a family in a draughty house without heating!
In collaboration with the client we came up with a mitigation strategy that avoids harm to bats and their roosts by modifying the design and putting timing restrictions in place. A win for the bats and the client.