It has been a week or so since I last wrote as we have been waiting for the results of the Bat Survey. This took place a couple of weeks ago and they found bat droppings which were sent off for DNA testing. These confirmed there have been two species of bats using our roof space: the Serotine and the Brown Long-Eared Bats.
The Serotine Bat is one of the most common in the UK. They are quite large. See: http://www.bats.org.uk/publications_download.php/219/serotine.pdf
The Brown Long-eared Bat
The Brown Long Eared Bat is also fairly common in the UK and are recognised by their long ears. See: http://www.bats.org.uk/publications_download.php/213/brownlongeared.pdf
Our current plan is to remove the entire second storey, including the roof, of part of the building. Understandably this caused BATWOMAN some concern. But in the spirit of all Super Heroines she came up with a bat mitigation plan which will entail us building a dedicated bat roost above the car port. This means that we will have to change the roof of the car port from a mono pitch to a regular pitched roof. The roost will have special insulation, roosting areas and a tiled roof to enable the bats to use it easily. In fact when finished it may well be one of the most desireable Bat residences in Dorset. Details of the recommended design can be found here: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/171199/4aridgetileaccess.pdf
We now need to establish whether we have a Maternity Roost or Regular Roost. BATWOMAN thinks that it is unlikely to be a Maternity Roost but we cannot know definitely without a dawn to dusk survey. This involves a number of bat experts positioned around the house for a few hours around dusk and dawn to note the bat activity. This cannot take place until next May as bats are hibernating at this time of the year so we are submitting the Mitigation plan based on the worse case scenario (a maternity roost) and will amend it if we find that we have just a regular roost. A Maternity roost will be quite challenging as it will mean we cannot work on the roof of the house until the end of the breeding season – i.e. November next year! So much as we are happy to accommodate these fascinating creatures we are hoping that they simply drop in to hang out for a while rather than set up family units on a permanent basis.
Finally before you ask BATWOMAN did turn up with Robin (another woman)!