Bernwood ECS actively encourages and pursues research to better understand our natural environment.
Historical records over the last century suggest an overall decline in UK bat populations, with the cause speculated to include a decline in roost availability. In 2009, a noctule maternity roost was recorded in an ash tree within ancient semi-natural woodland in Milton Keynes, UK, where up to 75 bats including lactating females were recorded. In December 2011, the ash tree was accidentally felled by contract staff operating on behalf of the landowner whilst carrying out ride habitat and tree safety management as the tree was considered to be a public safety concern. A mitigation and compensation strategy was implemented, with a noctule maternity colony returning in 2012 and 2013. The landowner has subsequently altered internal working practices in relation to bats and trees. This case study exemplifies the need for sharing ecological data records within organisations, and to and from third parties. Good record keeping including photographic and video evidence together with a ‘rapid response’ procedure is demonstrated.