Tag Archives: UK

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LIFE LaserFence Project – the focus on rats!

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By Dave Parish, GWCT Head of Scottish Lowland Research

The LIFE funded Laser Fence project is testing a novel laser system for potential use as a deterrent for pest species of mammals. This is based on the existing laser which is manufactured by Bird Control Group as a bird scaring device, for which it is very effective. This currently offers managers a non-lethal, automated means of keeping pest birds away from vulnerable crops, or potentially dangerous areas such as runways, but is untested on mammals.

Rats feeding at one of the bait sites, prior to LaserFence deployment

At the Game and Wildlife Scottish Demonstration Farm, we have been designing trials to look at a number of species to the LaserFence system, including rabbits, deer and predatory species, but we are now in a position to formally test this on rats. This is a key species for the project because there is a push to reduce rodenticide use across Europe, so if LaserFence can deter rats from designated areas, it may offer an alternative to poisons in some circumstances. This in turn could help reduce accidental poisoning of non-target species and contamination of the food-chain, which can then harm predatory species.

The site for LaserFence trials on rats at GWSDF. A solar panel, which powers the device via a battery, can be seen in the foreground

These trials will be conducted within two disused buildings which have been fenced-off to keep people out, but which are being used by the local rats. We have been monitoring small piles of grain for a couple of weeks now to quantify rat activity in these areas and will shortly be turning the lasers on. If they work, we hope to record a significant drop in activity within the buildings.


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IRIS publishes the video of the visit to the Bickley Hall Farm (United Kingdom)

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IRIS  publishes the video of the visit to the second area scheduled for the trip to the United Kingdom, the Bickley Hall Farm, in Malpas, south of Liverpool on October 25 of last year. You can see the video of the visit below.




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Notice boards for dissemination of Laser Fence

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Volterra has designed the notice boards which are a valuable tool to disseminate information about the project to indirect stakeholders and the wider public.

At five of the six trial sites the partners have placed a notice board with a description of the project in Spanish and English. Additionally, two project partners have placed a smaller sized copy (A3) of the notice board at their office in their respective working languages.

A pdf version of the notice boards is available through our download section.

Below you can see the installation of notice boards at our partners´ facilities and trial sites.


Fig.1 : Small notice board at Volterra’s facilities.

Fig.2 : Small notice board at IRIS’ facilities.

Fig.3 : Notice board at Cucanoche

Fig.4 : Notice board at Cuarterola

Fig.5 : Notice board at Aboyne

Fig.6 : Notice board at Wölferlingen.

Fig.7 : Notice board at Malpas.


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IRIS visits Bickley Hall Farm, in Malpas (England)

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The IRIS team visited the second scheduled area on the trip to the UK, the Bickley Hall Farm, in Malpas, south of Liverpool.

On October 24, they met in the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) with the project manager, Martin Sharp. After a productive meeting, in which part of the work was analysed and the following steps were planned, IRIS left Liverpool and went to Malpas.

On October 25, Jennifer Sneddon accompanied IRIS through Bickley Hall farm and explained them the work areas, the farm characteristics and the existing limitations.

During the day there were two flights (morning and afternoon). In each of them, the two parcels between which the laser is permutated were flown over. The limited opening and closing hours of the farm (09:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), made it impossible to carry out flights before dawn and after sunset.

The flights were repeated the next day, this time in the company of Eduardo Cordova, employee of Liverpool John Moores University. All flights were carried out with maximum safety, reusing the flight criteria defined in Scotland.