MidKent College - Eco warriors go on bat-saving mission

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Eco warriors go on bat-saving mission

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011

The declining bat population will see its living standards improve thanks to dozens of bat boxes now installed at the Lower Lines Park in Gillingham.

The boxes were put up by MidKent College under the direction of bat expert Dr Lynn Whitfield after a sonic survey conducted by Dr Whitfield and her team revealed that bats are already present in the college-funded woodland. It is hoped that the addition of 30 new homes for the bats will enable the existing population to grow.

Medway-based environmental management specialists, Avondale, were drafted in to install 60 bird and bat boxes throughout the park earlier this month. Avondale employee and tree surgeon, Andy Hodgert, said: “It’s a novel job for us as we’re more used to cutting trees down, but it’s nice to do your bit to support the wildlife living in your local area.”

Park supervisor, Kev Woolford, said: “Dr Lynn Whitfield and her team spent two nights scanning for bat activity. We were chuffed to bits when she told us that bats are already living in the park. We want to do everything we can to support them.”  

Designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Lower Lines comprise a series of fortifications and brick trenches constructed from 1803 onwards to help defend Chatham Dockyard from attack during the Napoleonic wars. Construction of the Lower Lines Park in 2009 saw 5.5 hectares of the open land linked to the Lines - and next to MidKent College’s Medway Campus - revitalised thanks to college funding. The picturesque community space now features a view of the historic Lines, as well as woodlands and a wildlife trail.

The new park was the first step in a number of planned improvements to Chatham’s historic Lines and the construction of the Great Lines Heritage Park, and is owned and managed by a Charitable Trust.

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