All Saint’s Church, Devon

Following a personal recommendation, Colmer Ecology was approached by a representative of the Parochial Church Council for All Saint’s Church to provide ecological planning advice relating to bats.

The church is Grade I listed and located within a small Devon village, with a leaking roof in need of urgent repair to prevent damage to a 15th Century ‘Waggon’ roof. The proposed works focused on the lead gulley between two pitched roofs, which needed to be replaced, along with patch repairs to the bell tower and replacing gutters and rainwater down pipes.

A Natural England volunteer bat roost visitor initially assessed the site, where evidence of bats was noted with recommendation to seek professional advice. Colmer Ecology subsequently carried an updated protected species building assessment with additional bat emergence surveys and infrared video analysis undertaken. Bat emergence points were identified for long-eared bats, Myotis and both common and soprano pipistrelles, all noted away from the zone of impact and in low numbers.

Considering the level of works and that no offence to bats or their roosts were considered likely, a non-licensable method statement was provided along with timing restrictions. Colmer Ecology provided comprehensive on site ecological clerk of works and liaised with the Church Council and restoration team to provide pragmatic and proportionate advice. As timing restrictions were imposed, no disturbance to bats occurred, with no damage or destruction to bat roosts and avoiding the need to apply for a protected species licence from Natural England.

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