FORCED to leave their centuries-old roosts on land taken over by the Hinkley Point C development, some of the country’s rarest bats have been looking for a new home.
And now they have found one – thanks to a £250,000 grant from the Hinkley Community Impact Mitigation ecology fund, recommended for approval by West Somerset Council’s cabinet on Wednesday.
The money will provide a new habitat on the nearby East Quantoxhead Estate for one of the last remaining colonies of barbastelle bats.
They became homeless when bulldozers moved in to prepare the site for the new nuclear power station.
Andrew Goodchild, assistant director for place and energy infrastructure, told cabinet
members that radio-tracking of bat calls was used to discover where the colony was foraging after they had left the Hinkley site.
They were found to have moved east into East Wood, Hodder’s Combe, Holford Combe to the east of Kilton, Waltham’s Copse and Honibere Lane.
"The East Quantoxhead estate emerged as the only real option, as they were willing to take on the planting and provide assurances regarding long-term maintenance.”