On the edge of the village are located Northup and Dunhurst Copses (OS TQ038268).  These are ancient woodlands that form part of a network of woodlands which are known to be important bat commuting and foraging areas for a range of bat species. Both sites are situated close to the Mens Special Area of Conservation (<500m) Special Area of Conservation, SAC, which is designated for its internationally important population of barbastelle bats. The copse is also within the range of the very rare Bechstein’s bat, with internationally important populations of this species located within 5km of the site (Ebernoe Common SAC).  Eight species of bat were found during the survey of Northup and Dunhurst Copses, which together form a Local Wildlife Site.

All bats and their roost sites are strictly protected under UK and European legislation and decision-makers are required to follow strict legal processes under the relevant legislation when determining planning applications potentially affecting them.  Furthermore, the populations of barbastelle bats at The Mens SAC and of barbastelle and Bechstein’s bats at Ebernoe SAC have further protection from activities that are likely to have a significant effect. Plans or projects that might affect such sites and/or their interest features can only be approved if it can be demonstrated that there is no adverse effect on the integrity of the site. Case law relating to the latter has shown that the precautionary principle should be followed throughout the decision making process.  Barbastelle bat was recorded in the Ecological survey undertaken at the Church fields also known as the Glebe and a range of bats have been seen over the Stable Field.

Contact:  Jill Sutcliffe 01403 700395  email: