How much notice do you take of bats? They’re not the most common of wildlife encountered on a day-to-day basis, but many of us are lucky enough to see them emerge at dusk. Of significance for the Rochester Bridge Trust is the knowledge those bats need to live somewhere.
In 2017, in preparation for the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, Arcadis undertook an ecology survey to check if there were any protected species living within the structures of the bridges. Of particular interest was the possibility of roosting bats and nesting birds.
Following an initial inspection to confirm there are quite a few places where these species could nest, a night survey was undertaken. The ecology team established watching posts at key areas and to assess whether bats lived in the bridge, by observing if they flew in and out to feed. Noise and thermal image sensors were used to help with this.
During the survey no bats were seen leaving or entering the bridges, and only very low levels of activity were recorded in the area. No protected species were found during the survey, although all work will be carried out in line with consents obtained from the Environment Agency and Marine Management Organisation.