NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF DURHAM RIVERSIDE RENEWAL
The developers of Freeman’s Reach have created a unique ‘Bat Hotel’ on the riverside in Durham to support the conservation of the local bat population.
It has been created specifically for the Daubentons bat that inhabits the area surrounding the development. It is a concrete and masonry structure, which will be buried beneath an area of the development next to the riverbank.
The structure has two openings that will emerge from the riverbank. It is 3.0m long x 2.7m wide and 2.5m high, which allows the Daubentons to fly around in their roost prior to emerging. The “hotel” has been designed so that in flood events the bats can escape from the upper opening and not be trapped.
By incorporating the ‘Bat Hotel’ within the development it has increased the roosting facilities at Freeman’s Reach, which will complement the existing bat boxes that were installed below Milburngate Bridge by the developers in partnership with Durham County Council and those put into retained trees on site.
The developers, a partnership between Carillion Developments, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP are keen to take the opportunity to improve the bio-diversity at the site and ensure it is ecologically responsible. This has been achieved by undertaking the development in accordance with Natural England European Protected Species Licence requirements.
In addition to the bat roosting facilities the development also features numerous other ecological installations. As part of the riverbank there has been stabilization work carried out to provide otters with shelves that allow easier passage along the river and holts for temporary resting or breeding.
The developers have also undertaken general cleaning of the river as well as installing a fish pass by incorporating rest pools. This provides a much improved route to the one already in existence and should lead to increased fish passage. A fish counter has also been installed, which not only records numbers, but can differentiate species. All of this information gets passed via a telecom link to the Environment Agency.
Ian Beaumont, Project Director of the Freeman’s Reach Development, said: “The ‘Bat Hotel’ is a very impressive structure and has been made to a targeted design specification. This ensures the ‘hotel’ will be as effective as possible for the conservation of the Daubentons at the development and attracting a larger population.
“It was very important for us to include considerations for local wildlife during the design and development of the site. By ensuring that these ecological features are in place it enables wildlife to access suitable and sustainable habitats that will help them to thrive.
“The presence of the growing and diverse wildlife population adds to the character of the development and makes it an even more enjoyable place to be.”
CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436
Notes to editors:
The development consortium for the Freeman’s Reach project is consists of Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, and Arlington Real Estate, supported by Richardsons Capital LLP
The development project leader is Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate. Allan is a North East based regeneration specialist and property developer.
Arlington Real Estate and Carillion also work in partnership on another flagship County Durham development, DurhamGate. Located five miles south of Durham City, DurhamGate is on the site of Black & Decker former UK headquarters and, at 60 acres, is the largest regeneration project in the North East.
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