A pioneering new research project aimed at identifying how bat populations are using farmland habitats is now under way at Pensthorpe.
The project, which is a joint initiative between Conservation Grade, the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group, is designed to identify how bats make use of the CG agri-environment measures established at Pensthorpe; which are designed to reverse the impact of intensive agricultural land management practices on wildlife.
The bats will be tagged with radio transmitters and tracked on Pensthorpe’s CG-accredited farmland concentrating initially on soprano pipistrelle bats, as there is far less information known about them compared to other bats.
Researchers will also use bat detectors evenly spaced over Pensthorpe to see which of the UK’s 17 species of bat are found there.
Ed Bramham-Jones, head warden at Pensthorpe said: “This study is vital to the development of CG farming practices and hopefully a much needed, widespread boost to bat populations throughout the UK.
“It’s something Pensthorpe has long been passionate about and our rich variety of habitats make this a very interesting place to research bats.”
The results are expected to be ready by August 2014.