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Project Examples

We work on projects ranging in size from an extension of a residential property, to large housing developments, to the restoration of coal collieries.  The majority of our work is undertaken by in-house staff, however we have a number of skilled sub-consultants on our books that are able to assist us in our busy periods or can provide the specific skills necessary for individual jobs.  Our clients include government agencies such as local councils and the Environment Agency, private firms such as architects, builders and multi-disciplinary consultancies, and private householders.  Below are examples of some of the projects that we have recently undertaken.

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EA Culverts Bat Assessment

Our training in confined spaces work has enabled us to undertake numerous projects surveying for bats within culverts, which are classed as Medium Risk Confined Spaces.

Working with Volker Stevin, we have surveyed four culverts in Lancashire, including summer endoscope inspections, summer emergence/return surveys, and winter hibernation surveys where necessary.

The Environment Agency plan to undertake flood alleviation works to the culverts, including installation of valves, repairing voids, and in some cases re-lining and re-pointing the culverts.  The level of ecological survey data obtained has enabled us to provide specific mitigation for each culvert.


Rossington Colliery Restoration Scheme

Working on behalf of SKM Enviros, we undertook the ecological assessment for the restoration of Rossington Colliery.  It is proposed that Rossington Coliery is restored to natural habitats via a process of coal washing and re-contouring.  This involves extracting coal from the current spoil heaps and passing it through a process of crushing and washing to produce a product that can be used, followed by restoration of the site to grassland, woodland and wetland habitats.


The site currently comprises large areas of bare ground interspersed by scrub embankments and drainage ditches, and bordered by woodland.   We undertook surveys on the 113ha site for badgers, bats, great-crested newts, reptiles, water vole, otter, and a Phase 1 habitat survey.  The results were provided within individual reports, which we then used as appendices to the ecology chapter that we compiled and wrote for the resultant Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).


St. Aidans Church Bat Assessment

After being stood empty for numerous years, a project was designed by a local architect to convert St. Aidan’s Church near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, into a holiday let.  We were employed to undertake a bat assessment of the church to accompany the planning application.  Our surveys found a brown long-eared maternity roost within the roof void of the church, but a slight amendment of the plans by our client, together with some new bat access tiles in the roof, has ensured that the project was given planning permission and the roost remains usable for bats.


The project involved emergence/return bat surveys, monitoring of internal conditions using data-loggers, and the acquisition of a bat licence from Natural England to proceed with the project.  All BL Ecology staff are CSCS accredited and were therefore able to be present on the construction site during critical periods, such as during roof removal.


Upper Wharfedale School

To look at this flat-roofed school building you wouldn’t think that a maternity roost of over 150 common pipistrelles use it!  The presence of bats was first identified by an asbestos surveyor during routine re-roofing works.  A visit by one of our licensed bat ecologists found numerous bats sitting on a beam between the false ceiling and the roof.  We undertook two dusk surveys within the breeding season to obtain a maximum count and therefore enable us to design an appropriate mitigation scheme


The project was timed so that re-roofing work was undertaken in winter when bats were least likely to be present.The new roof and soffits were designed to allow bats access back inside their existing roost whilst still maintaining the same internal conditions and ensuring maximum success.


Environment Agency Flood
Alleviation Works

We have worked closely with the Environment Agency on a number of their Flood Alleviation Schemes in the north of England.  We have found the use of a boat invaluable during these surveys, enabling us to quickly and efficiently access both banks of a watercourse. One such project was undertaken on the River Don in Sheffield, where we undertook habitat surveys (specifically identifying invasive weeds) and protected species surveys, including otter, water vole, and bat roost potential in trees/bridges.


All points of interest were identified in the field using GPS and trees with bat potential were tagged with an identifying number.  We have then been involved with the latter stages of the project during vegetation removal, where we checked for the presence of protected species within specific trees/areas and provided advice on felling techniques as additional precaution to ensure bats are not injured or killed during the works.


Bat Monitoring at Wind Farm Sites

BL Ecology have undertaken bat monitoring for a wind farm site in East Yorkshire, yet to go to public consultation.  Working on behalf of AECOM, we have undertaken monthly transects between May and August inclusive to ascertain any changes in the way the site is utilised by bats throughout the year.  We have also employed the use of remote recording devices, which were left in place for at least five nights of suitable weather conditions every month.   These were deployed around the site in various positions, as shown in this photograph.


BL Ecology is a trading name of BL Ecology Ltd. Registered office: Office 9/10, Beck Mill, Reva Syke Road, Clayton BD14  6QY
Company number 07193722. VAT Registration: 987 8948 17.
Directors: William Lever BSc Hons MIEEM and Jennifer Clarke BSc Hons MSc MIEEM