Bat’s the way to do it

Holmhills Park event is a suc­cess

Rutherglen Reformer - - Stonelaw High Activities Outing - Niki Ten­ant

Cam­bus­lang kids be­came night owls in their search for bats dur­ing the first ‘Bat Watch’ or­gan­ised by a com­mu­nuity park group set up in the town.

Or­gan­ised by Friends of Holmhills Wood Com­mu­nity Park (FoHWCP), the Last Fri­day’s Bat Watch was a chance for lo­cal fam­i­lies to catch sight of the bats fly­ing around the park on a late sum­mer’s evening.

The Bat Watch was led by two South La­nark­shire Coun­cil Coun­try­side Rangers, Abi Boyd and Kerry Thom­son, and sup­ported by FoHWCP Group mem­bers Michelle Farmer, Ali­son Park and Andy Wil­son, and by Karen Smith from Pro­ject 31.

FoWCP Chair and Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil mem­ber, Michelle Farmer said: “I am de­lighted with the turnout at this event.

“It was an ab­so­lute plea­sure to watch the group of young chil­dren walk­ing around the park with lit­tle bat de­tec­tors and their torches look­ing and lis­ten­ing in­tently for bats.

“Bats are fas­ci­nat­ing an­i­mals but are so lit­tle known.

“They play an es­sen­tial part in the nat­u­ral world but many species are threat­ened with ex­tinc­tion.

“In the UK, they and their roosts are pro­tected by law.

” The event was fully booked in ad­vance and was so pop­u­lar that, un­for­tu­nately, some peo­ple had to be turned away due to the lim­ited num­ber of bat de­tec­tors which were avail­able.

“Given the in­ter­est, we will cer­tainly look at or­gan­is­ing this kind of event again”.

Af­ter an evening of bat watch­ing, the young chil­dren were treated to hot cho­co­late and sweets kindly do­nated by Karen Jarvie, the Com­mu­nity Cham­pion from the Tesco store in Burn­side.

The Bat Watch was the third event or­gan­ised by the Friends of Holmhills Wood Com­mu­nity Park, set up by Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil ear­lier this year.

Since the group was formed, there have been a num­ber of im­prove­ments to the park.

Michelle said: “We are de­lighted that lo­cal peo­ple are ben­e­fit­ing from the im­prove­ments that have been made to the Park over the last year by SLC Land Ser­vices, the Com­mu­nity Pay Back Team, SLC Hous­ing and Tech­ni­cal Ser­vices and the SLC Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment.

“We en­cour­age lo­cal peo­ple to check the Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil web­site for more de­tails on park im­prove­ments and fu­ture events at www. cam­bus­lang­com­mu­ni­ty­coun­cil. com.”

Michelle first mooted the idea of clear­ing up Holmhills last year.

She was con­cerned that it was slowly be­ing left to rot, with path­ways start­ing to crum­ble, plantlife be­com­ing over­grown, and, as a re­sult, fewer peo­ple choos­ing to go into the park.

Af­ter urg­ing lo­cals to roll up their sleeves to help bring the park back into com­mu­nity use, the trans­for­ma­tion has been dra­matic.

The first ever lit­ter pick event, sup­ported by the coun­cil, in June proved a real hit with 25 vol­un­teers show­ing up to help.

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