Developers ensure bats and great crested newts are welcome at Kenilworth’s new school sitePosted on: 24/11/2021
Bats and great crested newts are among wildlife whose habitats have been protected and enhanced at the new Kenilworth School site in Glasshouse Lane.
Protecting and improving biodiversity is one of a number of eco-friendly measures being adopted by developers Morgan Sindall Construction at the site, which is set to open to Kenilworth Multi Academy Trust students in the autumn of 2023.
Other eco-friendly activities include retaining ‘veteran’ trees and the majority of other mature broadleaved trees, enhancing the great crested newt habitat by establishing rough grassland, planting native shrubs and creating log piles. Developers have also preserved a badger sett and a common pipistrelle bat day roost.
It also moved a clump of native bluebells to another area within the site and protected hedgerows used by the charmingly described ‘commuting bats’ as well as woodland enjoyed by foraging bats.
As well as widening a corridor of semi-natural vegetation along one of the site boundaries, they are planting native trees, shrubs and hedgerows and creating wildflower margins to increase the number of native plant species. This in turn will benefit a variety of fauna including invertebrates, birds, bats and amphibians.
Bat boxes have been sited in existing mature trees to compensate for the loss of any potential bat roosting features where tree removal cannot be avoided.
The lighting will be sympathetic to nocturnal wildlife, and will be positioned to minimise artificial light spill across woodland, mature trees and hedgerows and avoid the bat roost, flight lines and foraging areas.
Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are being installed to manage surface water drainage in a way which mimics the natural environment. This method is believed to be one of the most effective ways of achieving sustainability and managing flood risk.
Executive head of Kenilworth School and Sixth Form/KMAT Hayden Abbott said: “These measures to protect wildlife habitats and biodiversity are just some of a number of ways in which the project is aiming to ensure we minimise our negative impact on the environment.”