Bats ‘Move Home’ At M50 Project
26 February 2015
Bats ‘moving home’ was just one of the topics raised when representatives from the M50 construction project visited Pendock Primary School in Worcestershire.
Three companies – Costain, EM Highways and Focus Ecology – went to the school. One of the topics raised was the fact that the project has been delayed by the discovery of seven bats in the structure of the bridge. Being a protected species meant that work on the bridge was delayed for six weeks as the project team assisted by Focus Ecology of Worcester sought a licence from ‘Natural England’ to lawfully remove the bats. Fortunately the bats left the roost of their own accord. The access points were then sealed and bat boxes located in trees near to the bridge.
Following a discussion with Sally Lyndon-Chance, the Head Teacher of Pendock Primary School, an agreement was reached for the representatives of the project including Claire Doughty, the local Police Community Support Officer and Andy Wilson of EM Highways, to visit the school and to make a presentation to all 55 children on bats and safety at or near construction sites. The school was presented with a bat box for the school garden by Focus Ecology and each child received a Costain safety comic, pen and ruler.
Brian Greaves, Senior Community Relations Manager for Costain, said: “At all our projects we endeavour to engage with the local community and in particular schools to explore learning opportunities from the project and to remind the children about the importance of safety at or near construction sites. The situation that developed with the bats provided an ideal learning opportunity and I am very grateful to Focus Ecology and the West Mercia Police for their support.”
Notes to Editor
The £1.5m M50 project involves carrying out concrete repairs to the bridge supports and re-waterproofing the structure to save further water ingress. This is needed due to water damage affecting the concrete and steel reinforcement in the bridge. An electrical system known as cathodic protection will also be added which should slow down future deterioration. Localised drainage improvements will be made on the A438 Ledbury Road which runs under the bridge.
Costain Communications Department