Time of Olympia Bats
Bats usually appear in July and August and are regulars around Sinclair
Bats manage to live alongside humans
and they may be sharing houses in the neighbourhood, especially
for a few weeks during the summer when female bats need somewhere
warm to raise their young. Hammersmith hosts one of the bat habitats
in London, at the woodland where is planned the construction of
the controversial Olympia Car Park.
This is the time of the year, between
July and August, when bats are most common. At the beginning at
month, on the 7th July, Sinclair Road Residents Association (SRRA)
reported the sight a couple of pipistrelles hunting for insects
just after sunset. Bats, according to SRRA, have been regular
visitor of Sinclair Road. Their preferred spot seems to be the
space at the back of numbers 86-96 Sinclair Road. After spending
some time there, the bats then moved on further down the woodland.
The pipistrelle is the most common of Britain's sixteen species
of bat. They only eat insects, weigh about 4 to 6 grams, have
a wingspan of 19 to 25cm and eat midges, mosquitoes and other
small insects that they catch and eat on the wing. They can be
seen after dusk as they leave their roosts or where they feed
in woodland, over water, along hedgerows and even over gardens
in almost every part of London.
Bats are not evil creatures and don't want to suck blood, as pictured
in the movies, although they could be infected with rabies. According
to the London Wildlife Trust, there is much misunderstood about
those animals. They are simply flying mammals with a taste for insects,
serving as natural insecticides (a single pipistrelle can eat 3000
midges in a night).
LWT says that bats are an excellent
indicator of the quality of the environment, as their complex
ecological requirements leave them highly sensitive to environmental
changes. Although they are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside
Act 1981, there has been a serious decline in the number of bats
over the past decade.
All species of bats are specially protected in law. This means
that it is an offence to kill, injure, take or be in possession
of a wild bat. It is also an offence to sell a bat, or to damage,
disturb or destroy a bat roosting site. The maximum penalty is
6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000, or both.
According to the Police's Wildlife Crime Unit, the number of bats
in London is declining mainly because many of their traditional
roosting sites are being destroyed by land development and home
improvements such as loft conversions and timber treatment.
So if you are planning to do any
work on the roof or loft of your house, check first to see if
bats are present. If they are, you must contact English Nature
for advice. SRRA also wants to hear about unusual/rare animal
species in the area, and particularly in the woodland.
SRRA Web Site
Bats Web site
Wildlife Web site
Nature Web site
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