There’s no need for anyone to go batty in Horncastle

No bats here: The bridge over the River Bain in Horncastle
No bats here: The bridge over the River Bain in Horncastle

It was a problem that promised to send contractors working on major road improvements in Horncastle batty...but it appears there is no need to worry!

Several residents and business owners recently contacted the News to say bats were roosting under a bridge which carries the A158 (Jubilee Way) over the River Bain.

Work on strengthening the bridge is included as part of a programme of roadworks in Horncastle which started last week.

Bats, though, have protected status and there were concerns the work on the bridge might have to be delayed or even cancelled.

The Lincolnshire Bat Group has confirmed a survey was carried out on the under-section of the bridge.

However, Lincolnshire County Council has revealed no bats were discovered.

A spokeswoman for the Bat Group said: “I have learned from one of the consultant ecologists employed by LCC (bridges section) that this bridge will have been routinely surveyed.

“If any evidence of bat use is found it will be taken into consideration and mitigated for appropriately.

“In point of fact, September is not a bad time for doing bridge work as bats have finished breeding for this year and are not yet in hibernation, when they would be very vulnerable.

“With that in mind, I think people can be reassured.”

Richard Waters, the council’s bridge engineer, said: “We would like to reassure people that we take matters like this seriously and always try to minimise the impact that our works have on local wildlife.

“Having looked into this, we think it’s unlikely that there are bats roosting below the bridge.

“Roosting bats tend to tuck themselves into crevices and there is nothing of that nature under the bridge.

“All the planned works are taking place on the top side of the bridge, so they would not have any impact on wildlife in the water and below the deck.”

The News understands large numbers of bats are still ‘swooping’ along the surface of the River Bain every night at the rear of buildings on West Street, searching for insects.

There were claims fruit bats were involved but that has been discounted by the Bat Group.

The group stress fruit bats are only found in the Tropics and parts of Australia.

Speculation is continuing about where the bats are roosting in Horncastle.