Advanced Bat Surveys for Exeter Flood Defence Scheme
The project The Exeter flood defence scheme is a £32m project that will reduce flood risk to more than 3,000 homes and businesses in Exeter. The project is managed by the Environment Agency with support from project partners Exeter City Council and Devon County Council. Phase 1 of the project is now substantially complete and phase 2 construction starts 2016. Phase 2 will construct intermittent defences on both sides of the River Exe from Cowley Bridge in the north to Countess Wear, Bridge Road in the south. It includes the construction of a sheet pile flood defence wall at Mill Road.
Our involvement Pure Ecology provided specialist ecological services for CH2MHILL, the Environment Agency’s appointed environmental consultants. A study by Pure Ecology of potential bat roosts in trees and structures along the River Exe discovered natterer’s roosts and a greater horseshoe mating roost in Lime Kilns at Mill Road, Exeter. We used advanced bat survey methods that included tree climbing and mist net trapping to survey the site. It allowed us to quickly and efficiently establish detailed baseline data for an ecological impact assessment. The advanced bat survey techniques enabled a comprehensive assessment and accurate interpretation of the use of the site by bats. This was particularly valuable for developing a mitigation strategy and construction management plan to avoid impacts on bat roosts. This had key advantages for the project because it was possible to avoid protected species licensing and unnecessary precautionary mitigation measures.