Wales

Bat roosts uncovered at Flintshire County Hall in Mold

Common pipistrelle bat (Getty Images) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There could be more than 100 potential bat roosts at the civic complex in Mold, an expert says

Council workers in Flintshire have been left in a flap after a series of close encounters with bats.

Wildlife experts have found at least 13 roosts in parts of County Hall in Mold being vacated ahead of demolition.

Figures reveal about 26 bats have been discovered, including one pipistrelle which got stuck on flypaper and had to have glue washed off.

Council bosses said measures would be taken to protect the bats before any demolition takes place.

The revelations have come in response to a Freedom of Information request, and follow the move of hundreds of staff to new offices at St David's Park, Ewloe.

Image copyright Stuart Spray
Image caption Coming home to roost: Where bats have made their home at Flintshire County Hall

Flintshire County Council revealed details of a string of incidents involving bats since 2010.

The most frequently infiltrated part of the 1960s civic complex was the sixth floor, where 20 bats were located.

One bat was seen in the main reception area and another in a car park stairwell at nearby Theatr Clwyd.

Some of the bats were returned to the wild after being caught by trained officers, while others left of their own accord.

Wildlife consultant Stuart Spray said while at least 13 roosts were found, there could be as many as 100 other possible locations they could settle.

"It was clear from the ground that there were several gaps around the windows that may have had potential for roosting bats," he said.

"As a result the building complex was assessed being of high potential for roosting bats in the summer and for hibernating bats in the winter."

Mr Spray has recommended only a soft demolition of the offices, and that bat roosts be put up on the remaining buildings as an alternative home for the creatures.

Neal Cockerton, Flintshire's chief officer in charge of property, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the council was "fully aware of all the measures that need to be in place to mitigate any impacts on bats".

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