This large parkland estate in the Vale of Glamorgan has been subject to a major refurbishment and restoration project since 2005. DCE Ltd was commissioned to carry out habitat and protected species surveys (bats, great crested newt and water vole) and has subsequently been involved in the design and implementation of mitigation measures and monitoring programmes. David Clements has given numerous presentations to the public regarding the bats of the estate, which include a small population of the rare and declining lesser horseshoe bat.
Great crested newt
Great crested newt occurs in various lakes and ponds in the gardens of the estate. Since it was intended that parts of the gardens would be refurbished, a series of recommendations were made by DCE Ltd in order to mitigate the possible impacts to this species. These included temporary, and in some cases, permanent exclusion measures in some areas, with newts being safely captured and transferred to new locations. Newt underpasses were placed beneath new paths, and an artificial wintering refugium (‘hibernaculum’) was installed adjacent to a main breeding pond. DCE Ltd continues to monitor the newt populations and provides on-going advice. The site is now subject to a ‘Programme of Works’ licence for GCN which is regarded as a model for other such sites in the region.
Surveys by DCE Ltd indicated that a range of bats are present within the estate, including lesser horseshoe bat, noctule, pipistrelle bats, brown long-eared bat and myotid bats including whiskered and/or Brandt’s bats. A wide range of measures were designed and implemented by DCE Ltd to ensure that the restoration of the main house and other buildings takes full account of any known bat presence. New bat-roosting attic voids were designed and installed in outbuildings, with bat entry dormers through the roof.