Bat boxes installed in Shotts after protected bats were found by North Lanarkshire Council in former Herbiston House
Getting in a flap when you’re moving home is understable – but council bosses have had to set up bats with a new heated home.
North Lanarkshire Council have had to rescue a family of the mammals from a Shotts building set for demolition.
The bats were discovered in the roof space of the former Herbiston House and, as they are a protected species, the local authority had no choice but to call in some expert help.
Jim Orr, design manager with the council, said: “We’ve now installed unheated bat boxes in the trees adjacent to the building and a further heated bat box at Stane Primary School.
“We approached specialists and were told we required a licence and under European legislation, had to offer the bats alternative roosts.
“The bats appeared to be a maternity colony of common pipistrelle.
“There may have been hundreds and could have been there for quite some time, however, it appears they left the building once the heating was switched off prior to demolition.
“While there is still the possibility of bats trying to return to the roost even after it has gone we had to identify suitable, nearby locations for the bat boxes.
“Stane Primary School was selected as the locus for the heated bat box and this is now in place.
“We hope that if there are any returning bats they are able to use these boxes as an alternative roost.
“It’s not unusual to come up against some unexpected issues during a demolition or new build project, however, bats are a bit different.
“It has been really interesting learning about the bats and their habitat.”
The demolition of the Herbiston House is to make way for a affordable housing development as part of the council’s £150m Building for the Future programme.
They are planning to build 1000 homes by 2020.
The project will bring a dual boost in terms of providing affordable homes for members of the community as well as giving economic benefits to the currently hard-pressed building industry.