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Bat Training Day at Romptickle Viaduct & Thurgoland Tunnel

Victoria Halford, Senior Ecologist at Brindle & Green summarises a recent training day undertaken by the Ecology team in South Yorkshire surveying and identifying roosting features for hibernating bats.

It was a windy start to the day with the team out early to make sure we made it up to South Yorkshire in good time for a day of hibernation surveys at Romptickle Viaduct, followed by a walk through some local crags to Thurgoland Tunnel. Our training was delivered by Rob Bell and Greg Slack, who’s historic involvement in the monitoring of these sites provided valuable insight into the roosts present and how they have been regulars at the sites for a number of years.

Romptickle Viaduct supports a known pipistrelle hibernation roost, as well as a Daubenton’s maternity roost and various other smaller roosts. Once we reached the viaduct, we were given a short talk on the history of the area, and the bat groups’ historic involvement at the site. We were then tasked with surveying a small section of the viaduct to identify bats for ourselves. We managed a count of 8 individuals within the stonework, considered to be Pipistrelle sp.. We were provided with commentary throughout the survey, with useful tips and tricks for carrying out hibernation checks.

  

Once finished at the viaduct, we walked along the disused railway to Thurgoland Tunnel looking for PRFs within trees and crags along the route. At the tunnel, we were shown the different enhancements that have been added, such as measures to restrict airflow and extra roost features, before entering the tunnel to look for more hibernating bats. Whilst at the tunnel, the bat group delivered a short talk on the different hibernation preferences of Myotis sp. and brown long-eared bat. We successfully identified 5 Myotis roosting within gaps in the stonework, gaps between added timber sarking, as well as a single free-hanging individual inside the tunnel.

The day was a fantastic learning opportunity for the team, providing exposure for those who hadn’t encountered hibernating bats before. This was a really exciting opportunity to be involved in, with team members getting some hands-on experience with hibernating bats and the survey techniques involved. For some members of the team, it was the first time they had seen bats up close, and it was lovely to see their excitement and enthusiasm.

Many thanks to Brindle & Green and Dr Lucinda Sweet for organising such an informative day out – fantastic learning opportunity and great to see some adorable bats!!

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Posted on: 02 April 2024
Posted in: Company News Staff News,

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