Tag Archives: bats

Bellway housebuilders fined £600,000 for destroying bat roost in south London

Photo of pipistrelle bat by Bill Tyne under creative commons

The Guardian reports a building firm that carried out demolition work at a site known to be inhabited by bats has been handed a £600,000 fine, the largest ever issued by a court for a wildlife crime, according to police.

Bellway, the housebuilders, admitted damaging or destroying a breeding site or resting place in Artillery Place, Greenwich, south-east London, in 2018, where soprano pipistrelle bats had been documented the previous year.

The pandemic has revived the demonisation of bats, but they aren’t the villains – we are

Photo of pipistrelle bat by Bill Tyne under creative commons

The Independent reports people have always been suspicious and fearful of bats so we needed little encouragement to point the finger their way. Some media outlets have even called for a global genocide of all bats. Of course, all this recrimination is a defence mechanism that stops us having to look closer to home.   It’s a shame we’re so quick to judge because bats are wonderful, fascinating creatures. They have been on Earth for more than 50 million years – far longer than humans – and there are more than 1,400 different species of them, meaning around 20 per cent of the world’s mammal species are bats. 

Developer fined for destroying bat home in London

The BBC report property developers who deliberately demolished a house containing protected bats have been fined £18,000.

Jenna Kara, 29, and Tina Kara, 34, directors of Landrose Developments Ltd, started tearing down the bungalow in Stanmore, north-west London, in 2016.

The company pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court to damaging or destroying the breeding site.

The court heard the developers had pressed ahead with the demolition despite an expert reporting the site was home to soprano pipistrelle bats – a protected species in the UK and Europe.

Photo by Michelle Stiller under creative commons