Initial ecological surveys carried out at The Princess Mary Hospital revealed the site to be of importance for wildlife. Development proposals posed a threat to protected species of bat and reptile, and to an area of chalk grassland habitat.
The site, an old RAF Hospital, ear-marked for redevelopment to provide housing, is situated at the base of a north-west-facing scarp of the Chiltern Hills. Our surveys discovered the buildings to comprise roosts of both pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats.
Our mitigation recommendations included the provision of two purpose-designed bat barns, and the installation of bat roosting boxes to be incorporated into the garages and walls of the new houses. These recommendations were accepted by Natural England, and a European Protected Species Mitigation licence was successfully acquired. The mitigation has since been successfully implemented.
Reptile surveys discovered populations of slow-worms and common lizards that were subsequently translocated from the site to nearby habitat. The area of chalk grassland has been protected and appropriate management to secure its conservation has been put in place.