Original thinking guides bats home

How we're looking after the local bat population

Bats navigate by bouncing sound waves off natural features such as hedges to find their way in the night. When a hedge is taken out, bats effectively lose their sat nav.

Along some public roads in the Dorset VIP project area we’ve needed to take out several hedges to give us the space we need to work safely.

How do we do this without confusing the bats? We build a new temporary linear feature that mirrors the hedges so bats can use them to find their way.

The artificial hedges, or ‘mobile bat fence mitigation’, were created especially for use on the Dorset VIP project and are designed to suit any hedgerow feature. Using black netting and locally sourced wood, they’re easy to maintain, easy to move and simple to construct on site.

One of the artificial hedges on site in Dorset

Our site teams can safely move them out of the way during working hours. At the end of the day, they can be moved back so the bats can use them to navigate through the Dorset sky.

Ongoing bat surveys were carried out to see whether bats were using the false hedges. Two different surveys in two different locations, gave us the information we needed to know they were doing their job.

Liz Greenaway, Senior Environment Advisor – Energy, Dorset VIP at Morgan Sindall Infrastructure.

Main image: “Pipsqueak” by wit is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0