Like a lot of licenced bat workers I also volunteer as a roost visitor for BCT/Natural England to help and advise householders where there may be issues or concerns to do with bats. For the most part this involves checking for the presence of bats and in most cases where there are bats, the species involved is one of the Pipistrelles.
So today’s visit came as a bit of a treat; firstly the 17th century farmhouse and it’s outhouses on the boundary of a known bat hotspot looked promising when considering roost potential. Sure enough a check of the roof void revealed distinctly Myotis like droppings, Natterer’s (Myotis nattereri) were high on my suspect list given the upland situation.
So down I pop to chat to the householder about the next step; a couple of Anabats left over the weekend to check for any bat activity before we come up with a plan of how bats can be accommodated in their re-roofing plans.
So we chat about the potential species involved and how they have requirements for different roosting conditions throughout the year. It’s at this point I’m asked “Would they use our tunnel?”
You have a tunnel?
And so I inspect the 100m+ drystone constructed tunnel beside the farmhouse which provides perfect humidity and temperature for hibernating bats and enough crevices to warrant another visit.
This job just got a lot more interesting.