Various moulds found in a Devon and Cornwall Housing, DCH, rented property in Roscadghill Parc, Heamoor, Cornwall. Images taken autumn winter 2013.
The images shown here are from a single property, and thus are not likely to reflect or have any bearing to the general condition of the housing stock held by the landlord mentioned. The incidence of mould reflected by the images is most likely an isolated incident, but one caused by mis-management, failure to act within a reasonable time frame and a lack of regard and responsibility.
The mould issues displayed in the images are caused by a) the fitting of a Positive Pressure Ventilation System without having adequate ventilation in the loft space, this in my opinion is by far the most serious issue. b) By flocks of House Sparrows and Swifts, which have been allowed to nest in the gap between roof and loft installation, causing patches of black mould on the ceilings underneath.
Species of moulds displayed here are yet to be identified, so it is not known if they pose a danger to health. I will be very interested to hear from anyone who knows where to send the fungi species seen above for identification.
For information relating to birds nesting or roosting in loft spaces or in buildings generally please contact the RSPB. They have been so helpful in providing a solution here. To remedy the problem of mould that relates to birds, House Sparrow nests are to be placed on plastic boards and Swift nesting concaves on plastic boards should be provided for a flock of twenty-four Swifts.
If mould is a problem in your home, my advice would be to contact your landlord and if there's no action within a reasonable time, contact SHELTER, but other agencies and people are there to help, they include the Citizens Advice Bureau, Environmental Health Departments of Local Councils, Local Counillors and Members of Parliament.
I have been informed by the charity SHELTER, that Legal Aid may be available for HOUSING DISREPAIR. They also told me another route is through the Small Claims Court, a claim may be made for costs of repair to rectify a problem if source of the problem is know and the landlord fails to act on the the problem. The Small Claims Court may be used for compensation for damage to personal personal property / belongings.
I am sorry but I am unable to give personal advice about mould issues. I can only report what I have been told and make comments about my own situation. Having just had a letter from my landlord admitting liability I am hoping my landlord will address the issues here very soon.
Always remember to do as much correspondance by e-mail or letter as is possible as e-mails and letters can be used in court. Phone calls can be denied. Formal letters of complaint should also be sent as soon as possible as mould problems only tend to get worse.
I must add it is also important to ventilated as much as possible during dry weather, regardless of having mould or not.
Just a personal thought, but I find it quite ironic that so much money is now being spent on insultating homes in the social sector, only for so much heat to be lost in providing adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and mould.
APHOTOFUNGI supports open source data recording and sharing for the benefit of wildlife, recorders, research, science and education. The project works closely with the following bodies and organisations.
The CISFBR or Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders is an independent umbrella organisation supporting independent recorders and recording groups in the county of Cornwall.
The Cornish Biodiversity Network or CBN is the largest open source wildlife database in Cornwall that sends open source data to the NBN (National Biodiversity Network). It is a new recording system based on the ERICA database, the largest recording resource in Cornwall. The CBN best supports the activities and needs of the independent recording community and recording groups in Cornwall.
The National Biodiversity Network or NBN is a charity that supports open source data sharing and recording supporting conservation, science and education.
"Why do recorders need open source?". Simply because it supports the core values of wildlife recording and the free use of records and data over a very wide network that includes partners like the Natural History Museum.