Bat monitoring strategy for lesser horseshoe bats in the Forest of Dean
We were commissioned by the Forest of Dean District Council to develop a bat monitoring strategy to assess the effectiveness of bat mitigation measures installed as part of a mixed use development in the Cinderford Northern Quarter. The area is occupied by an important maternity colony of lesser horseshoe bats, which are a qualifying feature of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Bat Sites Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Various mitigation measures were implemented including artificial roosts, road crossing structures such as culverts and hop-overs, and habitat creation/enhancements.
We reviewed the existing survey data and made recommendations for future monitoring to ensure that appropriate and adequate baseline data were collected. We prepared a full report including monitoring objectives and requirements, detailed guidelines for survey, data analysis and interpretation of results, criteria and targets for mitigation success, and recommendations for adaptive management.