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Ledston Hall Bat Surveys

Ledston Hall is a Grade I listed building located on the outskirts of Castleford, West Yorkshire. Plans to refurbish and restore this baroque country house required surveys for the presence of roosting bats and an assessment of the building value for these protected species.

Ledston Hall South Wing

An internal and external inspection of Ledston Hall was undertaken in August 2013 and was closely followed by a suite of bat activity surveys. Guidance from the Bat Conservation Trust (2012) recommends that where buildings or structures of high value for roosting bats are identified three survey events are carried out and as such, a combination of dawn and dusk bat activity surveys commenced at the Hall.

Due to the size and nature of the building and the requirement for three survey events, surveys were undertaken in three phases by three surveyors positioned around the building. This phased approach ensured comprehensive visual coverage of all building for the required three occasions. Surveys were led by Natural England bat survey licence holder and Ecologist Jennie Caddick BSc (Hons) MCIEEM AIEMA (licence no. 20130097) with support from a number of experienced bat surveyors and incorporated a visual survey with the aid of Echo-Meter 3 (EM3) recording devices and hand-held heterodyne bat detectors.

Surveys recorded bat behaviour including dawn and dusk swarming, attempted perching which indicated the possible presence of a roost access or egress or the roost itself, leking - bat song/calling associated with social and mating behaviours or presence of feeding perches.

Following the surveys a comprehensive report giving details of bat behaviours identified, species present (where definable), an assessment of the value of internal rooms for roosting bats, interpretation of the activity results and recommendations for progressing the project were provided to the client.