Buildings (and other built structures)

Buildings, and other built structures such as bridges, both those in current active use and those that are derelict and disused, can provide opportunities for a small but select and important range of plants and especially animals. Mostly these are birds (e.g. House Martin, Swallows, Barn Owls) and bats. However some older buildings and bridges over rivers and railways may develop an interesting flora similar to that of natural rock faces and support reptiles such as the Common Lizard. The type and location of the building, the type of construction and building materials, the type and level of current use, are all significant factors in determining which species they are likely to host. For example, buildings with open access and beams provide good nesting opportunities for Swallows; those with deep overhanging eaves and soffits offer potential nesting sites for House Martins; those with access to cavities in roofs and walls provide good roosting opportunities for bats.

It is important to note that many of these species are protected by law – even when nesting and roosting in occupied buildings (e.g. please see the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) as amended and the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations (1994) as amended).