Kerpow! New bat cave is in Romiley
HUNDREDS of squatters have been evicted from a house after they caused a bit of a flap.
That’s because the unwanted guests are actually a colony of around 600 bats who had taken up roost in the house near Romiley.
Despite the best efforts of the owner to get rid of the unwanted visitors, conservationists also got involved to help clear out the infestation.
Now, in a bid to help rehouse the creatures, council bosses have taken the unusual step of building a real-life ‘bat cave’ - a state of the art hut in nearby Etherow Country Park.
Teaming up with South Lancashire Bat Group and the Friends of Etherow Group, Stockport council hopes the hut will help protect the area’s local species.
A spokesman for Stockport council said: “It came about after a maternity roost of Soprano pipistrelles was excluded, under licence, from a nearby house.
“Soprano pipistrelles are known to have a pungent smell when in large numbers, as was the case here where there were over 600 bats present.
“The roost was directly over the owner’s son’s bedroom, which was becoming unpleasant, so the exclusion was agreed at the end of the season.
“It is hoped that the soprano roost will relocate to this bat house to establish a maternity colony that can be monitored over the coming years.”
There are hopes the new home will be used by other species as well.
By taking an existing outbuilding and adapting it to the creatures’ needs, the bats’ new home cost just £2,200. Council bosses recycled a preexisting outbuilding, fully adapting it to make it ‘bat friendly’ and high-tech solar panels were fitted to keep the winged creatures warm.
Greater Manchester Tree Station donated wooden cladding, providing plenty of nooks and crannies for them to roost in.
And, set back on 240 acres of fields and woodland, it might just have the best garden in Stockport.
The UK is currently home to 18 species of bats and, according to the council, seven have been recorded in the park and 10 are believed to be local to Stockport.
And now with the state of the art home, it is the hope of the council that this new bat house will see the population thrive.
Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport council’s cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “It is vital that we take steps to protect and enhance our local biodiversity, including maintaining valuable nature and green space resources for the local community to enjoy and safeguarding them for future generations.”
The new bat house was completed on Saturday July 15.
●●The new state of the art ‘bat cave’ in Etherow Park
●●A pipistrelle bat