Greengage undertook a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and liaised with the local biodiversity planning officer to inform the design for a suite of detailed bat activity and reptile surveys at this site in Bristol, located near to an important greater horseshoe roost.
One of the largest bat species found on the British Isles, greater horseshoe bats are rare across the UK with their range confined to the south-west. Listed on Annex IV of the Habitats Directive this species is strictly protected by UK and European legislation and is declining in numbers globally. It was therefore imperative from a legislative and policy perspective to ensure conservation of this species at site, whilst helping facilitate the proposed planning application.
The proposals may have resulted in increased light pollution. It was therefore crucial to assess the importance of the site for light sensitive species such as greater and lesser horseshoes and Myotis species.
Surveys took place throughout the summer and provided an important tool for informing design and layout for the site. Bat activity was clearly concentrated in certain areas and at certain times of year/night dominated by a small number of species; this information allowed for targeted mitigation, compensation and enhancement actions which were included in a site wide Ecological Mitigation Plan.
Greengage’s approach ensured good relations with the local authority, as well as safeguarding legislative and policy compliance throughout the planning process.