We were commissioned by Bracknell Forest Borough Council to co-ordinate and undertake a survey of habitats suitable for noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) - a local Biodversity Action Plan priority species - in conjunction with the Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire Bat Group of areas in the River Blackwater. A Species Action Plan (SAP) for Bracknell Forest had been written for the noctule bat and the survey was commissioned to assist in meeting the key objectives and targets within the noctule SAP aimed at conserving and enhancing the noctule numbers and distribution within the Borough.
Activity surveys were conducted at sites in the River Blackwater catchment and noctules were recorded at every site. Key focus areas were identified and management and conservation recommendations were made specific to each site assisting the Council in reaching the key objectives and targets in the noctule SAP.
Bracknell Forest Council commissioned us to undertake a review of the current management of the wetland areas: South Lake, North Lake and the dry pond/marsh to the north-west of North Lake at South Hill Park in Bracknell, and make recommendations for their future management for wildlife, with particular reference to the birdlife of the water bodies.
A programme of landscape restoration works, with a primary focus of restoring the historic park and garden, has been carried out in the Park with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund through the Parks for People Programme.
The programme of works was reviewed and advice given on the overall habitat management, vegetation management and protected species considerations. This advice was incorporated into the park’s management plan to be implemented over the next few years to improve the ecology of the park.