Knole Park, in Sevenoaks, is one of the few remaining Tudor deer parks to have survived the mass development of our countries landscapes over the past 500 years. The park has seen change over the years; in recent history the park lost nearly 70% of its trees in the great storm of October 1987. Vast oaks and chestnuts scatter the landscape, never failing to impress.
Thankfully, there are still lots of impressive mature trees to behold within the park, trees suitable for the installation of bat hibernation roost boxes.
PJC were commissioned to undertake bat surveys on one of the keeper's cottages on site that had been ear marked for renovation. The surveys revealed that the building did in fact contain a summer transitional roost at one end of the roof void. The species PJC ecologists identified to be using the roost included Brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritis), Common Pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri).
As part of the extensive mitigation strategy designed by PJC, a hibernation roost bat box was to be installed within the woodland directly adjacent to the cottage. In conjunction with PJC's sister company PJ Chaffin Ltd the day of installation was upon us. With the aid one of PJ Chaffin's experienced tree climbers, Sam Taylor, the sturdy bat box was hoisted high into the tree chosen by PJC ecologist Tom Rothero.
With a bit of jostling and, "no the other left" the hibernation box was firmly secured with a south facing aspect out across the deer park. Sam then descended from the tree via his web of ropes after creating much hysteria from nearby power walkers, "Oh look, a man up a tree!" one woman exclaimed. Another successful step towards bat conservation in the south east had been completed.
The English country house is surrounded by 1000 acres of parkland, inhabited by the local residents and the wild life. The house has been used for a number of films over the years and continues to hold evens and hoards of visitors. The grounds support a heard of Fallow and Japanese Sika deer,800 in number,that roam around the park. The golf club that is situated within the park was founded in 1924 and is still going strong. Golf isn't the only sport in the park there are plenty of others including cross country competitions every year. The park has some stunning walks that are fantastic to experience at different times of the year.