Chalet used by bats torn down
A mobile home in Burgh Castle that provided an unlikely location for a colony of bats has been torn down.Redevelopment of the Breydon Water Holiday Park means the bats will have to settle into some specially provided roosts if they return this spring.
A mobile home in Burgh Castle that provided an unlikely location for a colony of bats has been torn down.
Redevelopment of the Breydon Water Holiday Park means the bats will have to settle into some specially provided roosts if they return this spring.
A breeding colony of 90 to 100 pipistrelle bats was discovered in the roof of the house during a survey carried out two years ago.
Dennis and Yvonne Squire hoped the bats, a protected species, would help them in their battle to fight eviction from their home.
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But the couple and six other tenants had to move out after losing their legal battle in a London court in November 2006.
Owner Park Resorts had to obtain permission from Natural England to remove the building and install the bat boxes so the colony had somewhere else to live.
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John Goldsmith of Aurum Ecology, who carried out the bat survey, told the Mercury he was disappointed that the property had been taken down.
He said: “I am concerned that this could disturb the bat colony, but understand Natural England have given permission for the building to be removed.
“They seem to approve some strange things these days - obviously if the site has been destroyed it is up to the public to question the wisdom of this action.”
Loss of woodland and marshland environment traditionally favoured by bats means the species has to rely more on buildings to roost and breed.
A spokesman for the Bat Preservation Trust said: “There is not usually any monitoring to see if bats return to a site once it has been disturbed and two thirds of bat crime is committed by the building sector.
“It is not just the bats that are protected but the habitat, and it is illegal to disturb or damage that without a licence.
“We encourage developers to provide bat holes in the roof to help make buildings environmentally friendly, bats don't chew wires and they eat a lot of bugs, so are quite good guests.”
Female pipistrelle bats return to the same place every year for the breeding season which lasts from April to September.
The former rented homes in the Yare Village area of the holiday park in Butt Lane have been replaced with a new upmarket development for owner occupiers.
A spokesman for Park Resorts said: “A licence was obtained from Natural England to enable the site to be inspected. When this was completed there was no evidence of any bats. However if the bats return at some stage three bat boxes have been erected at the park and they will be monitored in accordance with guidelines.”
Mr and Mrs Squire now live in Gorleston.