Case Study: Mintlyn Crematorium, King’s Lynn
Philip Parker Associates has been working with Mintlyn Crematorium since 2006, providing cost effective and pragmatic solutions to bat issues that they have had in a number of their buildings. The crematorium is situated in largely undisturbed coniferous and birch woodland, which provides excellent foraging and roosting habitats for several bat species.
As part of the company’s ongoing monitoring work, we put up 30 of our home-made Kent bat boxes (see gallery), as well as 3 Schwegler 1FFH boxes, on a selection of trees in the crematorium’s woodland.
Since 2014 Philip Parker has been voluntarily monitoring these boxes on a weekly basis to study how bat roosting population numbers change throughout a yearly cycle and also how the positioning of certain boxes can affect their use. All 33 boxes have had bat use, with up to 400 pipistrelles and 20 brown long eareds recorded during a single visit the peak summer season. Overall species recorded using the boxes include; pipistrelles, brown long eared and noctule.
The Kent bat boxes built by Philip Parker Associates were given a unique (bat friendly) black stain to increase the amount of warmth absorbed (following research by the company), which has had exceptional results in relation to the numbers of bats using the boxes compared to unstained boxes on different sites.
This new bat box design is now being implemented across a number of the company’s other sites. The boxes themselves are easily monitored by shining a 1,000 candle power Cluelite lamp onto the underside of the boxes, allowing views up into the slots of the box.
The gallery above shows the design of the finished boxes, ready to be put up on site, as well as number of shots of pipistrelles, brown long eared and noctules using the boxes.
Philips weekly surveys throughout October and November 2015 have provided a unique and fascinating insight into the behaviour of noctule bats using the boxes, in particular in the Schwegler 1FFH boxes.
The video above gives a fascinating insight into the behaviour of a noctule bat, using a Schwegler 1FFH box, before it leaves a roost. You can see it revealing its head to ‘examine’ the external conditions before it then emerges fully.