In 2008, Richard obtained a bat licence for the Environment Agency to demolish two sheds that used to house fish counters that were originally installed as part of fisheries mitigation for the creation of Roadford Reservoir by South West Water. A couple of soprano pipistrelles were found roosting behind lining paper inside the sheds.
Mitigation included the provision of two ‘American’ style bat houses close to the shed locations. These were positioned adjacent to the tree-lined rivers Wolf and Thrushel, in full sunlight and painted matt black, to maximise solar thermal gain.
The mitigation was almost immediately successful, with bats recorded using both houses on the first monitoring visit. Subsequent visits also confirmed bats present in January when there was frost on the ground.
Ten years later the EA undertook a maintenance inspection and found piles of guano under the houses. Emergence surveys are planned for this summer to determine the number of bats now using the houses.