Bats on the Blackdowns – Supporting Local Projects
Seasons Ecology is pleased to be leading a range of bat surveys on behalf of the National Trust to inform proposals to relight the Wellington Monument on the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB). We are completing the surveys on a voluntary basis, with assistance from the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures team.
The National Trust hopes to light the monument to mark special events such as anniversaries including the forthcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The monument is 175ft (53m) high and on the highest point of the Blackdown Hills making it easily visible from the motorway.
“We are hugely grateful to Seasons Ecology for their help and expertise on the project. We are really excited at the prospect of lighting the Monument but clearly also don’t want to do anything that would cause distress to bats. The findings of the survey will also be used as we explore long-term repair options for the Monument” Helen Sharp, Project Manager for the National Trust.
Surveys have commenced in April 2015 and are being led by Hannah Maben (Partner at Seasons Ecology), an experienced ecological consultant and licenced bat ecologist. Surveys include the use of static detectors and manual bat surveys, with which we aim to determine what species of bat are using the habitats in the immediate vicinity of the monument and to what extent. This will help inform recommendations to avoid or minimise any impacts on bats from lighting the monument.
We were excited to get involved and volunteer our time to support this local project, which is local to our new office close to the Blackdown Hills AONB on the Somerset/Devon border.
“The Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership was delighted and very grateful when Hannah Maben of Seasons Ecology offered to monitor the bats at the Wellington Monument. We were keen that the National Trust should light the Wellington Monument as part of the Waterloo 200 celebrations but wanted to ensure that it would not harm the wildlife in any way. Hannah’s surveys will provide us with a better understanding of the bat populations and their needs, and is an excellent example of partnership working” Linda Bennett, Blackdown Hills AONB Manager.
Seasons Ecology has also recently donated to the Blackdown Hills Countryside Fund, having taken up new office premises and wanting to support our neighbours. The Countryside Fund will be made available for community groups to apply for ‘countryside’ based projects in 2015/16.
For more information on the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project see www.blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk/Natural-Futures.html and for more information on (or to donate to) the Countryside Fund please visit www.blackdownhillscountrysidefund.org.uk.
For more information on Wellington Monument please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wellington-monument/
Comments are currently closed.