Phase 1 habitat survey, Preston, Lancashire (2014)

My third proposed solar farm in a packed week of surveys.  This one had lots of ponds, again, this time in the middle of reseeded grass ley, and lots of large mature trees on the boundary which seemed to have great bat potential.

I won’t bore you with yet another pond picture so here’s an interesting non-ecological feature of the site -  a pair of carved stone gateposts:

preston site.jpg large

I’ve alerted the project team to these – I don’t know whether they are of historical interest, I’m no expert – but it looks like as there is another gateway linking these two fields, the stone posts will be left alone if the project goes ahead.  Good news :)

Lesser horseshoe bat survey, Betws-y-Coed, North Wales (2014)

Every year, members of South Lancs Bat Group join Clwyd Bat Group and Natural Resources Wales to form a super-group for lesser horseshoe bat surveys as part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme. Continue reading

Phase 1 habitat survey, east Crewe, Cheshire (2014)

This was another site near Crewe needing Phase 1 habitat survey to support a proposed solar farm planning application.  And guess what, more ponds !!  These were rather entertaining as at least half of them were invisible ponds:

invisible pond at crewe east site Continue reading

Bat trapping survey, Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside (2014)

A few days after my first harp trapping experience I went back for more to see whether I could actually catch something this time !!!  It was pretty weird meeting at Knowsley Safari Park after closing time.  We were ferried through the Park by the keepers who pointed out their elephants and rhinos as we whizzed by to the survey site at White Man’s Dam, a lake on the estate behind the safari park which isn’t open to the public.

harp trapping site Continue reading

Phase 1 habitat survey, north Crewe, Cheshire (2014)

This was the first of four phase 1 habitat surveys I did for proposed solar farm sites on behalf of a small consultancy based in the south-west.  It’s always funny working for other ecologists as everyone has their own particular way of doing things.  I’ve often used other ecologist’s report templates at their request, but this time the company asked if I would just provide the survey data and some notes so that they could do their own reports.  Fair enough. Continue reading