SCHOOLCHILDREN have been learning about the importance of preserving nature on a nearby building site.
Pupils from Ysgol y Gwernant in Llangollen visited an affordable homes development to see how Grwp Cynefin housing association is working around the presence of bat colony on the site.
The bats living at the new development meant the builders and property developers have had to take their breeding season into account during the building process.
The pupils were invited to visit the old cottage hospital in the town to learn more about the ecological nature of building homes for local people with wildlife present.
“Sometimes building homes brings with it some additional challenges, and Llangollen has been an example of that,” said Bryn Davies, development manager at Grwp Cynefin.
“We knew before we purchased the site that we had a colony of soprano pipistrelle bats to deal with, so our environmental expertise kicks in from the outset.
“Bats are a protected species, so we had to prepare our building plans around the bats and obtain the licence from the Welsh Government.
“The initial surveys that were carried out registered 656 soprano pipistrelle bats around the site during one particular evening!
“Our building period was therefore delayed as we had to wait for the bats to leave the old building once their breeding season finished at the end of the summer. We then set about the task of constructing a new home for them.
“We had to work within the winter months to build their new home, which will also serve as a bin store, as they would soon return to the site ready for the next year’s breeding season.”
Year three and four teacher Eleri Jones, who visited the site with the youngsters said: “The pupils enjoyed their visit to the former hospital site.
“It was interesting to hear about the bats and how Grwp Cynefin built a new home for them.
“It formed part of our recent eco council platinum banner award, which tied in with their local environment here in Llangollen.
“We also saw the houses under construction on site, and of course, the big machines were a hit with the pupils!”