Ecology Survey 2014 Update.

Phase-1 Habitat Survey

Udall-Martin Associates had a busy 2014, starting the year with ecology surveys for gas and electricity pipelines in the Peak District National Park and ending the year on a high note with winning a two-year framework agreement for ecology and BREEAM services for construction projects for numerous public bodies. In between we completed numerous ecology projects, large and small, for a variety of customers with some leading to unexpected finds of rare and notable species. We had our busiest year to date, with an ever expanding client base and working with new associates allowing us to provide a multi-disciplinary service to our clients. As always client care and the production of quality work were our highest priorities, completing projects often to tight deadlines.

We carried out a range of bat surveys at a site in Sleaford, Lincolnshire where we found evidence of roosting serotine bats, the first ever serotine record in Lincolnshire (the results were confirmed by DNA analysis of bat droppings). Also, bat surveys were carried out across the survey season at a Grade I listed building in Leicestershire where we recorded a roost of the rare (possibly under-recorded) Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat. We also recorded Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats foraging on proposed development sites in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (confirmed by sonogram analysis). A European Protected Species Mitigation licence was obtained for work to a building at Donington Park Racing Circuit in Leicestershire where bat maternity roosts were found. A purpose-built bat house is to be constructed as compensation for the works. Bat and bird surveys were also carried out at Birmingham Symphony Orchestra building where renovation works were proposed. Bat surveys were carried out at locations across England for private individuals wishing to carry out building works through to major development sites for housing and industry.

At Evington Park and Watermead Park in Leicester we and our associates carried out multi-disciplinary work including ecological surveys, geo-hydrological surveys and flood risk assessment for proposed developments.

Ecological assessments comprising Extended Phase-1 habitat surveys and further protected species surveys including for badger, great crested newt, bats, reptiles and water vole were carried out at proposed housing and supermarket developments in Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and South Yorkshire for clients including construction companies, a leading supermarket and estate agent. We also continue our ecology work for developments at primary schools throughout Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

We also carried out ecology work for several BREEAM assessments including for a development at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire and at a Birmingham University Campus.

Looking ahead to 2015, we envisage it to be a busy year and with this in mind we are now looking to employ two new permanent skilled members of staff to join the team.

On a nature conservation note, we will be expanding our voluntary bat box schemes this year. We already have a scheme set up at Donington Park Racing Circuit (where we have found noctule bats, Leisler’s bats, brown long-eared bats, common pipistrelle bats and soprano pipistrelle bats roosting in the boxes during our monitoring visits carried out in 2013 and 2014) and recently we were given permission by the landowner to set up a bat box scheme in mature deciduous woodland in Herefordshire, a stones’ throw away from our office. It is also likely we will set up a hazel dormouse nesting box scheme in the same woodland.

We would like to wish all our clients a prosperous year.