A bat species found at South East Water’s treatment works in Hawkley near Petersfield has been identified as the first of its kind to be recorded in Hampshire.
Alcathoe bats were identified as a species in 2001 and were first recorded in the UK during 2010. While it is thought that the Alcathoe is not new to the UK, its striking similarity to two other native bat species - whiskered and Brandt's bats - makes it difficult to recognise.
Members of South East Water’s Environmental team joined expert bat ecologist Daniel Whitby to carry out a bat trapping exercise within the woodland grounds of the water treatment works at the end of May.
On the night five species were caught and identified, including one Alcathoe bat. The exercise aimed to identify species of bat present in the woodland, which is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Richard Dyer, South East Water’s Biodiversity Lead, said: “This discovery provides valuable information about the distribution of this little known species and we are pleased to have identified it during our monitoring activities.
“Forming part of South East Water’s ongoing National Environment Programme (NEP) project work, this is just one of the many projects the company is undertaking to enhance the biodiversity of its sites.”
Further information about South East Water’s Environmental work can be found at: www.southeastwater.co.uk/our-environment.
This discovery provides valuable information about the distribution of this little known species and we are pleased to have identified it during our monitoring activities.