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 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.
The BBC report leaving hedgerows untouched can offer an important lifeline for night-time biodiversity, such as bats. A study says schemes designed to make farming more wildlife-friendly often failed to offer any real benefits.