Scottish Rural College Protected Species Surveys

Practecology undertook bat and badger surveys on land owned by the SRUC to determine impacts to protected species prior to a programme of ground works.

  • Main badger sett

    Main badger sett

  • Building assessment for bat roosts

    Building assessment for bat roosts

Badger Surveys

Badger surveys commenced in April 2016 before vegetation had begun to grow and when it was much easier to find setts, latrines and tracks. All hedge boundaries, areas of woodland and gorse, tracks and stream banks which fell within a 500m radius of the proposed works were thoroughly searched.

  • Grassland landscape at SRUC

    Grassland landscape at SRUC

  • Dense gorse provides good cover for badger setts

    Dense gorse provides good cover for badger setts

Survey Results

A number of setts were found which ranged in size and level of use. Some showed evidence of having bedding being taken below ground, others had very large latrines at the entrance suggesting that there was more than one badger in occupation, whereas others appeared to to be disused. Tracks used by badgers, and likely a range of other species, were common and very useful in locating setts and territorial boundaries. Remote sensing cameras were also used to determine whether some of the active setts were used for breeding and rearing cubs.

  • Latrine at sett entrance

    Latrine at sett entrance

  • Subsidiary sett with limited signs of badger activity

    Subsidiary sett with limited signs of badger activity

  • Badger entering sett

    Badger entering sett

  • Badger path with several latrines

    Badger path with several latrines

Bat Surveys

Bat surveys were undertaken in line with the BCT Guidelines http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/guidanceforprofessionals.html with one dawn and two dusk surveys completed between April and July. A total of four buildings were surveyed which had gaps under roofing felt and in soffit boxes which may have allowed bats to enter the structure. Our surveyors used BatBox duet recorders and Roland MP3 Players so that any calls could be analysed later using BatSound Software. Although no bat roosts were identified some soprano pipistrelles were found to be using adjacent trees as a feeding area.

  • Portacabin with felt roof

    Portacabin with felt roof

  • Gap in soffit box

    Gap in soffit box