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					The Echo ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )November 2007
                                                Previous research has tended to focus on        The role of guidance in creating and
                                                mainstream development and on the use           resolving variation
                                                of Environmental Impact Assessments on
                                                larger-scale developments. While there          The national guidance (PPS9 and its
                                                are fewer non-mainstream developments,          companion documents) is generally clear
                                                the likelihood of the presence of bats is       on how planning should incorporate the
                                                much greater, and this research has             needs of bats but not so clear on its
                                                demonstrated that the number of non-            applicability: since it is associated with
                                                mainstream developments which have              and written in the terminology of the
                                                implications for bats is likely to be greater   TCPA, LPAs are – either deliberately or by
                                                than    the    number       of    mainstream    default – applying it only to applications
                                                developments where bats are involved.           governed by the TCPA. Furthermore,
                                                While the non-mainstream developments           some LPAs are using the apparent conflict
                                                considered in this research tend to relate      with the ‘relevance’ test of Circular 11/95
                                                to small-scale developments, the number         to justify any failure to protect wildlife on
                                                of bats present is not correlated with          the basis that they are protected by other
                                                scale: a single old barn may house a roost      legislation. If, as seems logical, PPS9 is
                                                of 100 individuals while an area being          intended to apply to non-mainstream
                                                considered for a new housing estate or a        applications, the relevant application
      B ATTY S OUP P ROMOTION                   new road may be home to no more than            forms need to include questions that will
                                                that.                                           enable planners to identify those
                                                                                                developments most likely to implicate
This October the Bat Conservation Trust
                                                Variation   in   the       approach       to    bats.
teamed up with New Covent Garden Food
                                                considering bats
Co. to raise awareness about bats in the
lead up to Halloween. The company's
                                                A key finding of this research is the failure
October Soup of the Month, “Hubble
                                                of a majority of Local Planning Authorities
Bubble Toil & Trouble: Pumpkin and
                                                (LPAs) to consider bats in the context of
Three Peppers”, was a brand new recipe
                                                planning        applications   covered     by
created in support of BCT. The soup
                                                legislation other than the TCPA or
manufacturer has kindly given a donation
                                                expressly excluded or permitted by that
to BCT and also ran an on-pack promotion
                                                legislation. There is a belief in many LPAs
on every carton, offering a discounted
                                                that existing guidance does not apply to
membership to the charity.
                                                such applications and as a result bat
                                                surveys are never requested as material
I managed to buy a carton in a local Spa
                                                to their determination, while other LPAs        This research has shown that, less than a
shop in Coventry but had some difficulty
                                                request bat surveys in 100% of such             year after its introduction, the NERC Act
finding it in larger supermarkets even
                                                cases. Even for mainstream applications,        has had very little impact on LPAs. There
though they stocked a wide range of the
                                                there is a reluctance to request bats           appears to be a lack of awareness of its
company’s other soups. In fact, in the Spa
                                                surveys for smaller (e.g. householder)          provisions or its implications and no
shop, it was featured in a BOGOF offer so
                                                applications and a general lack of              evidence of it affecting the behaviour of
I opted for a Carrot and Coriander carton
                                                confidence in the ability to justify            development control staff. There is a need
as well.
                                                requesting a survey. In what appears to         to ensure that sufficient training time is
                                                be a minority of cases, surveys are being       allocated to allow planners to do more
New Covent Garden Food Co.'s “Hubble
                                                required as conditions on planning              than simply read new policy and guidance.
Bubble Toil & Trouble: Pumpkin and
                                                permission, rather than as pre-requisites       For example, workshops which allow
Three Pepper” Soup of the Month was
                                                to determining the application, in spite of     implementation and implications to be
(allegedly) available in supermarkets and
                                                guidance to the contrary. This variation in     explored and discussed could be used to
independent        retailers      nationwide
                                                the use of bat surveys is partly a reflection   ensure that new requirements are properly
throughout October. However, I have to
                                                of the variation in approach to assessing       assimilated and embedded. To encourage
admit that I was a little disappointed in the
                                                the need for a bat survey: even those with      a commitment to the protection of bats,
product as it tasted rather bland.
                                                access to an ecologist and/or the data          training must make clear the unique
                                                held by their local ecological records          relationship between bats and the built
                               Julia Waller
                                                centre (LRC) do not always make use of          environment which makes their survival so
                                                this resource. In the majority of LPAs and      dependent on land-use decisions.
  B ATS   IN THE   P LANNING S YSTEM            for the majority of both mainstream and
                                                non-mainstream applications, the decision       This research has shown that regional
A R ESEARCH P ROJECT         BY   P ATRICIA     to consult an ecologist is at the discretion    guidance and local policies do often refer
             S COTT                             of the case officer – the majority of whom      to biodiversity action plan targets, many of
                                                have      little   understanding    of    the   which include species action plans for
                                                relationship between bats and the built         bats, but that this guidance is not being
The research focused on potential gaps in       environment. This research strongly             followed through into the operation of
the protection afforded to bats due to the      indicates that a key factor in the              development control or into the indicators
separation between ‘mainstream’ planning        propensity to consider bats is the              being measured by planning departments’
applications – those governed by the            presence in the LPA of a person –               Annual Monitoring Reports. A way of
Town & Country Planning Act (TCPA) –            ecologist or planner – who both wishes          improving the integration of biodiversity
and those exempted from or automatically        and is able to influence development            policies into operations would be to
permitted by the TCPA or governed by            control practices.                              incorporate       development         control
other legislation – ‘non-mainstream’.
Send your news and articles to: Jon Russ, 28 Stevenson Road, Keresley, Coventry, CV6 2JW.                                            Page 1
The Echo ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )November 2007
processes into the data collection:              bat recorders and LRCs as well as              National Trust and the University of Bristol
requiring protected species survey results       between LRCs and LPAs.                         launched the UK’s first landscape scale
to be fed back into the LRCs’ records and                                                       study into bats. During the course of his
including as a performance indicator the       In addition to making better use of existing     PhD, researcher Jon Flanders looked at
number of applications for which protected     data, further research is required to            roosts, flight patterns, diets, habitats and
species surveys are requested.                 collect, collate and publish the evidence        the influence of farming practices on bats
                                               for the true probability of bat use of           in the Purbeck area, as well as the
LPAs also produce guidance and more            buildings of different types and in different    genetics of the greater horseshoe.
could be done on this front: this research     settings. This would give planners a
has presented examples of good practice        sounder basis for requiring the submission
in the use of planning websites, published     of bat surveys – with all types of
guidance and ‘informatives’ which could        application – on the grounds of a
be more widely implemented. In particular,     reasonable expectation that bats will be
while LPAs cannot control those                present.
developments which are outside their
remit, there are ways in which they can          Summary and Recommendations of Scott,
influence the outcomes. LPAs’ webpages            P. 2007. Bats in the Planning System. An
                                                       investigation of potential gaps in the
tend to include information on the types of
                                                protection afforded to bats by development
work that do/do not require planning              control regulations and procedures. MSc
permission and most offer an enquiries                         Thesis, Coventry University.
service, both of which should be used to
disseminate information on where bats                                                           Jon Flanders, commenting about the
might be and what must be done to                                                               findings, said: “It is amazing how we can
                                                             P OETRY C ORNER
protect them. Applications for a certificate                                                    look back at the history of the greater
of lawfulness (for validating permitted        Bats                                             horseshoe bat and see how its distribution
developments) could be adapted to                                                               in Europe has altered over the last 60,000
incorporate requests for information about     I wonder if you've wondered at                   years. This is not only important
those features of the site that might make     the batty nature of a bat,                       information in understanding the natural
it suitable for bats and to provide            the 'sonar-samar' of its sound                   history of this bat, but could also reflect
information about the protection afforded      that echo - echoes all around.                   similar movements of other species of
to bats by law. DCLG’s proposals for                                                            animal found in Europe.”
changing the criteria for permitted            I wonder if he wonders too                       The research was carried out in
developments          for      householder     about the rainbow hue of you.                    collaboration with another genetic project
applications also need to ensure that          Encased in wings, hung upside down,              by Stephen Rossiter at Queen Mary,
allowance is made for assessing the            do young bats think, do young bats frown?        University of London. His research found
potential for bat roosts.                                                                       that when the last ice age advanced, the
                                               What does he feel?                               greater horseshoe was forced to migrate
Wider issues                                   I'll never know.                                 to southern Europe along with bears,
                                               even though -                                    hedgehogs and grasshoppers. As the ice
Finally, while there is a clear need to        phenomenologically                               retreated, the bat returned to Northern
change the approach to non-mainstream                                                           Europe and the UK.
applications, this research has mirrored       I'm as bats
findings from previous research on             as bats                                          David     Bullock,    Head     of    Nature
mainstream developments on:                    as bats                                          Conservation at the National Trust and bat
                                                                                                expert, is enthusiastic about the findings,
                                                                                                added: “We know the National Trust is
• the need for simple validation checklists    as a 'me'
                                               can be.                                          extremely important for bats, but there are
  to enable any member of the planning
                                                                             Julie Boden        still so many mysteries surrounding their
  department to identify whether a bat
                                                                                                behaviour and ecology. Every new piece
  survey should be part of an application
                                                                                                of information can help to shape our
  submission. ALGE are currently piloting
                                                      O RIGINS OF THE GREATER                                                 management
  a set of biodiversity checklists, but in the
                                                           HORSESHOE B AT                                                    plans      and
  meantime the criteria in the new BCT
                                                                                                                             protect these
  Survey Guidelines could be used. A
                                               Genetic work carried out as part of a                                                   rare
  comprehensive communications effort
                                               Bristol University research project on the                                    creatures in
  will be needed to ensure that all
                                               National Trust Purbeck Estate in Dorset                                       the future.”
  planning departments have and use it.
                                               has found that the UK’s population of
                                               greater horseshoe bats originated from                                   The National
• the need for better access to – and use                                                                               Trust        is
                                               west Asia around 40,000 – 60,000 years
  of – the existing records of bat activity                                                                                particularly
  (roosting and foraging) so that all                                                                                   important for
  planning      applications      can       be                                                                          bats. All 17
                                               By taking tiny, harmless tissue samples
  automatically screened for proximity to                                                                               species      in
                                               the project found that greater horseshoe
  bats. The funding of LRCs and the                                                       the UK are found on Trust land. Historic
                                               bats colonised Europe before the last ice
  exchange of bat survey results should                                                   buildings and ancient woodland provide
                                               age. Samples were taken from sites
  be seen by LPAs as a key response to                                                    important roost and hibernation sites.
                                               across the species natural range from the
  the duties imposed by the NERC Act.                                                     Farmland, parks and water are vital for
                                               UK to Japan, including Purbeck. DNA was
  For this to produce real improvements                                                   feeding. Even air raid shelters, grottos and
                                               extracted, sequenced and compared
  in the protection of bats, there needs to                                               icehouses have become homes to bats.
                                               between different populations. In 2005 the
  be better co-operation between county
Send your news and articles to: Jon Russ, 28 Stevenson Road, Keresley, Coventry, CV6 2JW.                                       Page 2
The Echo ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )November 2007
                                                The UK population of greater horseshoe
Research from the bat study has                 bats has been estimated by one survey at
uncovered many previously unknown facts         4,000 individuals with only 200 breeding
about bats and new records for the area.        females believed to be in Dorset. Greater
For example, previous monitoring of the         horseshoe bats can live to be 30 years old
greater horseshoe had focused on                and do not start breeding until three or
maternity roosts and little was known           four. They gather to breed in warm roof
about the intermediary roosts. One such         voids of old stable blocks or large houses
roost on National Trust land was thought        and hibernate close to their summer
to have just seven or eight bats, but the       roosts in cellars or underground quarries.
research showed there are over 30               They navigate across large areas of
individuals, a much more significant            countryside at night, often following
number. Two new populations of                  hedgerows and woodland edges.
Bechstein’s bats and three maternity roost                                     Julia Waller     Data for all seventeen groups participating
trees were also found as well as a female                                                       in 2007 is currently being analysed and a
Barbastelle indicating that there is at least                                                   report will be available in January 2008.
one maternity colony at Purbeck. These            N EW B AT S OUND C ALL L IBR ARY
findings will help build a more detailed                                                                                             Jon Russ
population picture of these species in the
UK.                                             BCT have created an online bat sound
                                                library which features bat calls recorded
                                                                                                             A LL   IN A   F LAP :
                                                from tuneable heterodyne detectors. It is
                                                an ongoing project which aims to provide           T HE B EHAVIOUR OF R OOSTING
                                                recordings of all UK bat species,                    L ESSER - HORSESHOE B ATS
                                                illustrating the differences and similarities
                                                between different species' calls and how
                                                they vary in different habitats.                As part of an ongoing programme of
                                                                                                mammalian ecological and behavioural
                                                                                                research at Swansea University, a study
                                                                                                of the foraging behaviour of a maternity
                                                                                                colony of lesser horseshoe bats was
                                                                                                undertaken at the Monkey Sanctuary, a
                                                                                                primate rescue and conservation trust
Purbeck has historically had a rich bat                                                         based in Looe, Cornwall in the summer of
fauna, with fifteen of the seventeen                                                            2006.
resident species of bat in the UK having
once been recorded there. Abandoned                                                             This thriving colony is located in the cellar
inland quarries found all along the south                                                       of Murrayton House, a 19th century estate
Purbeck ridge are known to be used as                                                           house now used to house staff and
hibernacula for at least ten species of bat,                                                    volunteers working for the Monkey
including the greater horseshoe bat                                                             Sanctuary Trust. In 2002 the Monkey
(Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and, until          This resource is exclusively for BCT            Sanctuary Trust successfully secured a
the 1980s, the greater Mouse-eared bat          members and NBMP volunteers. If you fall        grant from Mammals Trust UK to
(Myotis myotis). This network of disused        into one of these categories then we will       purchase an infrared low light CCTV
quarries was found to be nationally             send you your user name, password and           camera system to permit visitors a clear
important for swarming bats, a behaviour        web link. If you haven't received these yet     view of the colony without disturbing the
that is still a mystery. Dozens of bats         then please contact Philip Briggs at            bats. This camera has successfully
descend on the area in the autumn and  or on 020 7501              increased the publics’ appreciation and
swarm around the quarries. By catching          3622.                                           awareness of these amazing animals in
the bats, it was found that most were male                                                      their natural surroundings, and has also
and this suggests it is a pre-mating                                                            allowed bat researches to begin to delve
gathering for displaying to females. The            B ATS & R OADSIDE M AMMALS                  into the mysterious and relatively unknown
research found that different species use                     S URVEY                           world of the and behaviour of bats in their
different quarries for swarming.                                                                roosts.
                                                The group completed the last of this year’s
Once widespread, the greater horseshoe                                                          Bats were observed in the roost during
                                                BCT/MTUK Bats & Roadside Mammals
population has declined significantly                                                           daylight hours and prior to the bats’
                                                Surveys in late September. Despite the
across northern Europe and the UK during                                                        evening arousal and emergence. During
                                                appalling weather this year we managed
the last century. Changes to the way we                                                         the day, most of the bat pups were mixed
                                                to complete 6 separate transect routes
farm our countryside are partly to blame.                                                       together in a single tight cluster,
                                                from    May     to   September,     driving
As agriculture intensified, the insects that                                                    seemingly protected by a dense outer ring
                                                approximately 150 miles overall. As a
the bats depend on disappeared from                                                             of the adult bats. Similar spatially distinct
                                                result we’ve generated approximately 600
feeding grounds. On top of this,                                                                adult and young clustering behaviour has
                                                new records of bats and 80 new records
hibernation sites have declined by 23                                                           been observed in a range of temperate
                                                of visually observed mammals.
percent. Now that we are returning to                                                           living bat species and is likely to function
more environmentally-friendly farming,                                                          as both a thermal buffer and potentially as
these traditional feeding grounds are                                                           a defence mechanism to minimize
being restocked with beetles and moths,                                                         predation risk to the young bats within the
favourite foods of the greater horseshoe.                                                       colony. As might be expected, the arousal
Send your news and articles to: Jon Russ, 28 Stevenson Road, Keresley, Coventry, CV6 2JW.                                              Page 3
The Echo ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )November 2007
activity of the bats was reasonably              may become apparent that the sociality of      Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Site Survey
predictable and generally occurred 45            this (and possible many other species)         Training
minutes before sunset. It is worth noting        may be more complex than previously            Friday 2 May
that the majority of bats left the confines of   considered.     Clearly     the    behaviour
the roost 5-30 minutes after sunset with a       described in this short article requires       Bat Walk
significant amount of ‘light testing’            further     focused     investigation    and   Ragley Hall
behaviour occurring.                             clarification.   Ultimately,    this   study   23 May 2008 (time tbc)
                                                 highlights the remarkable and usually          A presentation on bats in the UK and
This behavioural mechanism, by which             ‘hidden’ ecology of this fascinating bat       Ragley, followed by a barbecue and a bat
bats undertake a number of very short            species that can be revealed by the use of     walk around the grounds. There will be an
flights (only a few metres) in and out of the    non-intrusive technologies such as             opportunity to see bats emerging from
main emergence points, allows the bats to        licensed remote controlled infrared            their roost at the start of the walk.
access light levels which can then be used       camera systems.                                Advanced booking essential, Tel: 0800
as a proxy for relative predation risk from                                                     093 0290, Cost
predators such as sparrow hawks and                      by Carl Walker & Dan Forman in         to be confirmed.
barn owls. Generally speaking, the bats                   Mammals News, Summer 2007.
were physically active for approximately                                                        NBMP Training
30-35 minutes prior to full emergence from             B ATTY V ITAL S TATISTICS !              Saturday, 7th June
the roost.
                                                 Don’t forget to pass on all your bat           Bat Walk
The most intriguing behaviours observed          sightings to George Burton, Warks Bat          Ragley Hall
within the roost occurred just prior to          Group’s Records Officer. Included with            th
                                                                                                18 July 2008 (time tbc)
emergence. Many of the adult bats spent          this newsletter is a copy of a recording       A presentation on bats in the UK and
some considerable time stretching and            form. Send your records to:                    Ragley, followed by a barbecue and a bat
flexing their wings and undertaking rapid,                                                      walk around the grounds. There will be an
intense bursts of wing movements whilst          Roost Records, The Old Dairy, 25               opportunity to see bats emerging from
they were still holding on to the ceiling.       Brookside, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Rugby,        their roost at the start of the walk.
This behaviour is very much akin to pre-         CV23 9NH                                       Advanced booking essential, Tel: 0800
flight behaviour observed in the many                                                           093 0290, Cost
passerine bird species and is likely to                                                         to be confirmed.
increase the temperature of the flight
muscles thereby improving the efficiency
of flight when the bat finally leaves the        If you have access to the internet then you    Bat Walk
roost to forage. Remarkably, some bats           can enter the information directly at the      Ragley Hall
were observed to climb physically onto           Warwickshire       Batgroup’s       website    22 August 2008 (time tbc)
others nearby before undertaking pre-                       A presentation on bats in the UK and
flight warm-ups. There was at least two          Click on the ‘record entry form’ link in the   Ragley, followed by a barbecue and a bat
possible and non- mutually exclusive             menu on the left hand side of the page.        walk around the grounds. There will be an
explanations for this unusual behaviour.                                                        opportunity to see bats emerging from
                                                                                                their roost at the start of the walk.
Assuming that pre-flight wing stretching                       T HE ‘E’-   CHO                  Advanced booking essential, Tel: 0800
and flapping is an important functional                                                         093 0290, Cost
behaviour in this species (many of the           If you would like to receive an electronic     to be confirmed.
bats engaged in this behaviour), space           copy of the newsletter via email then let
limitations, caused by the dense packing         me know…..
of bats together within the roost, may                      Bat Walk
force individuals to attach themselves to                                                       Ragley Hall
others nearby. This may be because                                                              12th September 2008 (time tbc)
                                                          T HE B AT -‘ E ’-G ROUP
individual energy reserve limitations                                                           A presentation on bats in the UK and
restrict the capability of some individuals      As well as receiving newsletters               Ragley, followed by a barbecue and a bat
to relocate physically to less cluttered         electronically, you can also take part in an   walk around the grounds. There will be an
areas of the roost prior to warming up           email discussion group. It’s completely        opportunity to see bats emerging from
flight muscles.                                  free and only open to bat group members        their roost at the start of the walk.
                                                 so if you have access to email and aren’t      Advanced booking essential, Tel: 0800
The behaviour observed may also                  already on the “egroup”, the why not drop      093 0290, Cost
represent a form of social contact or social     an email to me at:                             to be confirmed.
bonding between related (and possibly
                                        and we’ll sign you      DON’T FORGET TO CHECK THE WEBSITE
unrelated) individuals within the roost and
such behaviour might even be both inter          up!                                              FOR RECENTLY ADDED DATES!
and intra- sexual in context. As many
female lesser horseshoe bats appear to                                                      The next issue of the Echo is out on 15th
display     a    remarkable     degree    of                     D IARY                     February 2008. The deadline for articles is
faithfulness to their roosts, are capable of If you know of any batty events then please
                                                                                            1 February 2008. If you have any batty
living in excess of 10 years and generally   send us the details and then we can include    stories, anecdotes, interesting articles or
live in colonies in which many individuals   them in the next issue as well as on Warks Bat research news then please send us the
are to be related to one another, such                                                      details so we can include them in the next
                                             Group’s website:
physical contact between individuals might                                                  newsletter.
be expected. If empirical evidence to
support this explanation is provided then it
Send your news and articles to: Jon Russ, 28 Stevenson Road, Keresley, Coventry, CV6 2JW.                                         Page 4

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