This student-led project will assess the impact that different grassland restoration techniques at Batts Combe Quarry have on the availability of flying invertebrates.
Flying grassland invertebrates are known to comprise an important part of the diet of some of the UK’s bat species, including the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri). Therefore the creation or restoration of species-rich grasslands on quarry sites may provide the opportunity to significantly enhance the local area for bat species.
Using a range of relevant survey techniques, our project team will assess the abundance and species diversity of the invertebrate communities inhabiting three different grassland types at Batts Combe Quarry, Somerset throughout the summer. This will be combined with bat activity monitoring to assess whether the test areas are being actively used by bats as foraging grounds and whether increased invertebrate abundance correlates with increased bat activity. Furthermore we will test whether the presence of goats is likely to significantly increase the number of dung beetles on the site and therefore improve its potential attractiveness as a foraging ground for greater horseshoe bats.