Bats at private manor house in Dorset

Summer 2020

The new owner of this 80-acre site in Dorset contacted us needing to know about the ecology both within it’s buildings and throughout the broader landscape. The resulting ecological reports would inform their architect and landscape designers of any restrictions or improvements they could make regarding the wildlife using the site as well as support planning applications.

In March of 2020, a member of the team carried out a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) of the three outbuildings on site. The PRA recorded significant evidence of a number of species of bat using the main house to roost. Feeding remains were recorded on the first floor of the stable block, and bat droppings were recorded throughout the workshop and garden building. The evidence found during the PRA was that all three buildings had HIGH bat potential.

Based on the results of the PRA, three dusk Bat Activity Surveys per building were completed through May, June and August of 2020. Our team of ecologists, used bat detectors, infra-red cameras and thermal imaging cameras to confirm which species of bat were using the site, whether they were using buildings as maternity roosts (a place where females gather to give birth to their single young), temporary summer roosts (bats can have several different daytime napping spots), feeding roosts or winter hibernation places (usually below ground, frost-free areas, such as cellars, caves, quarries and wells).


A total of ten species and 244 bats were recorded exiting or entering the property. It was suggested that the majority of species were using the structure as a summer, daytime roost or feeding roost. Species such as the whiskered bat, serotine, lesser horseshoe and brown long-eared bats, were using some spaces as maternity roosts.

Additionally, 1252 bats (13 species) were recorded commuting and foraging around the property (outside the buildings) making this site a local bat hot-spot, with all buildings and landscapes needing to be developed, restored and maintained with particularly high standards of care for the environment. Fortunately, the new owners value the treasure-trove of biodiversity on the site and plan continued enhancements for wildlife, including some re-wilding of the site.

Client Testimonials

"We have used Daniel Ahern Ecology on a number of projects. The work is always thorough, well presented, quickly turned around and good value."

J. M. Stratton & Co

"Many thanks to Dan for your support with the slow worm translocation, excellent work carried out during our project with Swindon Borough Council in Penhill, hope to work again with you soon."

Steve Daniels, Site Agent, Britannia Construction Ltd

"Thank you for your prompt actions with the bat survey, I am pleased to say that full planning permission has been granted."

Malcolm, West Tytherley

"Damen Associates has commissioned Daniel Ahern Ecology to provide reports on Ecology matters in support of Planning Applications. The service has been quick, thorough and the recommendations accepted by the Authorities. We have no concerns in commissioning this company for future assistance."

Damen Associates Ltd

"We at Allen Planning Ltd have been using the services of Daniel Ahern Ecology for many years and we find the quality of their work excellent and very persuasive with local planning authorities and also the timing of their work from instruction to completion of reports is first class."

Tony Allen Planning Ltd

"We highly recommend Daniel Ahern Ecology. We find that their advice is robust and highly professional, saving time and money when trying to progress complex planning applications."

Richard Greenwood, Managing Director, Benchmark Development Planning Ltd

Daniel Ahern Ecology

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