Bats finally on the move from hydro board office
STAFF in Invergarry will soon be able to return to their office after being chased out by bats.
The 12-strong SSE hydro workforce has been ‘evicted’ from the station’s mess building in Invergarry for the past three years thanks to 500 soprano pipistrelle bats.
This year, SSE wildlife expert, Alastair Stephen is working with SNH and a bat ecologist to relocate the furry flying mammals.
The bats took up residence in the roof and walls of the building, only a few hundred feet from the 20MW power station which sees water carried from Loch Garry by a tunnel near the mouth of the River Garry on Loch Oich.
Over the past few years, staff have resorted to working from a portable cabin to avoid the endurance of the strong smell of ammonia given off by the mammals’ droppings when they emerge in the summer.
The task Alistair is faced with is an unusual one, as he is normally focused on fisheries.
He said: ‘A key priority for us is to ensure the bats are relocated safely and without disruption to their natural behavioural patterns.
‘My day job is working in harmony with native salmon populations and other aquatic wildlife interests, so dealing with the bats is slightly different, but immensely interesting. Our Invergarry team will also be thankful to be reinstated in their own mess room before too long.’
ON THE MOVE: one of the soprano pipstrelle bats found at a Lochaber Scottish hydro