Thursday, 21 February 2019

Of Bats, Reptiles & More Housing

There is a new application for houses at Old Blackalls farm. P18/S4273/O)

The ecological survey with Bats undertaken on the Old Blackall's site for the applicant together with TR’s son’s monitoring here this year show very similar results.

It seems that we have a remarkable 8 species of bat, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Noctule, Leisler's, Natterers, Barbastelle, Serotine and Brown Long Eared.

Bats enjoy a high degree of protection especially Barbastelle which is very rare and a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species.

There are few records of this species in Oxon & Berks.

Clearance of the site and housing estate light pollution are bound to threaten the continuing presence of these species in the area.


The Countryside Officer, Dominic Lamb, reports a medium population of Slow-worms and low numbers of Grass Snakes in the vicinity.

He also states “that these reptiles would need to be translocated off site - but that no receptor site has been identified”.

You wouldn't think from this that the area is arguably one of the top reptile sites in the county (if one ignores Adders and there are precious few of these now) One left at Bix!

From such an overgrown site we don't see how these reptiles can be gathered without huge clearance and given that half of them are probably on land adjoining Tony Rayner’s. The estimate of the populations are 150 Slow-worm and 20 Grass Snake not to mention the Common Lizard.

We wonder how far down on the political priorities is the environment!

Leisler's Bat (courtesy The Wildlife Trusts)

1 comment:

  1. That application is not very well recieved or supported, I suspect the parish council will turn it down, can't say much for the SODC