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Hospital bats temporarily rehoused

21 Nov 2012

To make way for the new Broadmoor Hospital, the Trust’s ecological consultants, Ecology Planning and Research (EPR) have started work to re-house bats currently residing in unused parts of the site.

Some of these buildings will be demolished as the Trust gets ready for the Hospital’s much needed redevelopment, scheduled to begin next year.

The Broadmoor estate covers over 130 acres and the Trust is proposing a new, fit for purpose hospital be constructed within its existing grounds so patients can move out of the 150 year old buildings, making it much easier for staff  to provide the high levels of care and treatment they need.

In preparation, the Trust has embarked on a two year enabling works programme. Part of this will ensure the safety and well being of all protected species living in and around the surrounding area, much of which has been designated as historic parkland and gardens.

Mainly roosting in building crevices and trees, bats prefer to stay out of sight, so to make them feel right at home EPR have hung 17 summer bat nest boxes and two hibernation boxes in trees nearby the vacant structures. This will encourage the Trusts ‘tenants’ to move out temporarily, whilst the new buildings are constructed. Once completed, brand new hibernating and maternity boxes will be placed in attic areas, allowing the bats to relocate when they are ready and remain in their new homes uninterrupted.

Susie Melhuish, EPR Ecologist, explained: “There are 18 species of bats in the UK. Silver Birches, the building we are currently working on plays  host to the most common – brown long-eared and common pipistrelle.

“Because bats are a protected species, the Trust has worked closely with us to make sure full inspections have been carried out and required licences obtained before starting to move them and redevelop the premises.”

David Phillips, Redevelopment Programme Manager said: “This is a large scale redevelopment project, which will result in major benefits in patient treatment and the way in which Hospital staff work.  However, it’s important that this is carried out sensitively and in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible.

“Therefore, our ecology programme has been carefully planned to ensure none of the bat roosts will be disturbed or destroyed during the hibernation period, which runs from November until March.”

The new Broadmoor Hospital will provide a modern, safe and secure setting for the Trust’s patients and staff. Main construction work to create the new buildings is scheduled to begin in 2013, with the new 16 ward Hospital opening to patients at the beginning of 2017.

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