bat surveys for the project this past week! Helen stayed over night on the
island to perform a dusk and dawn survey.
We do have one resident! We have a soprano pipistrelle bat roosting in the main wall of the castle. We will need to work around his schedule and there seem to be a couple of options. First, the window of opportunity for the work is September and October. This is the window when birds have finished nesting and bats are more likely elsewhere. If our bat (we should probably name him) is at home when we arrive to do the preservation work, we would be limited in what could be done and would have to plan a second trip. There are several things we can do to minimize disruption, however, and we still could accomplish quite a bit. We would leave the ivy in the area of the bat's roost untouched in any case.
In parallel, we can also apply for a license with Scottish Natural Heritage to allow us to complete the ivy trimming and to clear the way for repointing and consolidation of the walls. This may be necessary long term. Since the turnaround time for approval tends to be 90 days minimum, this would push the project beyond the optimal September/October window if we tried to do this before initial preservation works and EDM survey.
At present, we are sorting out plans for a September or October visit and discussing which specifics activities and
methods will be appropriate ...with natural heritage given its appropriate
HELEN ALSO NOTED that there were campers on the
island and the several large fire rings had been made from stones from the
castle buildings! We really need to find a way to get some signage on the
island to encourage more respect for this important site! We will work
Also please note that the bat surveys
(including transportation) have been funded from donations made directly by The
Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund Board (us) and no public donations were
More to follow!