Petersham Common provides an important link for wildlife to travel through between Richmond Park and the Thames riverside. This includes various birds, foxes and badgers. It also hosts beetles such as stag beetles that will thrive around the decaying wood. Little owls can often be heard especially at dusk. Bat boxes will help to encourage bats to live in Petersham Common as well as provide a link for bats to move from roosts in Richmond Park to feeding grounds along the River Thames. Bats follow critical flight paths that link protected sheltered spaces (trees, hedgerows, no street lighting) and we have 6 bat boxes on the Common (along with about 75 bird boxes). We hope to carry out bat surveys with the London Bat Trust in 2021 to better understand the importance of the Woods to bats. This requires licenses from DEFRA and includes catching and placing micro GPS trackers to understand their movements. The trackers fall off the bats after a few days. In this context if you are a night owl and like staying up all night to monitor bats then please make contact.
Pipistrelle bat captured during Bat Conservation survey