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Bangor Goes Batty

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Bats of Bangor are to get a new home specially designed and built for them.
The ‘bat house’ has been planned and designed by Bangor University and will be placed at the old St Mary’s Halls; it is thought to be costing tens of thousands of pounds.
The main building was built in 1895, and new research that was conducted by the University showed that the building, empty since 2008, has been used by bats.
To make way for the new home, the university has to demolish the former halls. Despite needing a new building for their plans, disturbing any bats that are currently in there could result in losing places for hibernation.
If the build goes ahead, the sole purpose for the building will be to house bats, no humans will be allowed to enter, only ecologists.
The building will be built of all natural materials and will be strong enough to withstand severe weather. The external of the building will form a barn look, and will have one door allowing access for bats only.
Although the University have gone to extreme lengths to design this, not everyone is as encouraging. Gwynedd councillor Nigel Pickavance described the plans as “batty” and thinks the land should be used for more conventional purposes, like building homes for local people.
With the economy in it’s current situation, Pickavance feels any houses that are being built should be built purely for human use.
At this moment, there is no comment from the University as to the final cost of the house, or how many bats it will allow to roost there.
A spokeswoman has told the Daily Post: “Contractors will carry out work to make the redundant buildings unsuitable for occupation by bats. This will enable the buildings to be demolished in the summer of 2014”.
“As bats will be displaced by the demolition work, the University will construct a new building to provide a hibernation and roosting location. The building has been designed with input from the ecologist to ensure that the location, form and specification provide a suitable habitat. The final cost of the project is not yet known.”
A ‘bat bridge’ was built in Porthmadog, costing £650,000, to help bats cross the new bypass without being killed by vehicles. North Wales welcomes all different species of bat, and the new constructions that are going underway should keep the area prime for bat hibernation.

 

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Charlotte Parker

News Editor 2013/14

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