Bat Species Need Protection

Planning approval for Hayling Community Centre Bowling Green floodlights is welcome for players (see APP_20_00712-DECISION_NOTICE-1444037-1 (2).pdf) but with conditions that require monitoring. The document below explains why bats, which require 'veteran' trees like old oaks for example, in which to roost, need protection. During last week's Hearings, we heard that Havant Borough has some of the rarest bat species in England, roosting in old trees amidst minimal disturbance. Please notify hbctreewardens@gmail.com if you can help with monitoring.

From Havant Tree Wardens:

The improvements to the facilities for members of the Community Centre outdoor bowls area may be a good thing for recreation and the well-being of local people.

However, the analysis, provided by Highlights Flooding Ltd, of likely light pollution nuisance to nearby homes does not provide adequate compliance in recognition and identification of glare and light spill implications for nocturnal species such as bats.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) has worked with the Institute of Lighting Professionals (ILP) to produce guidance that avoids negative impacts on bats.

Due to the decline in bat numbers and the importance of specific roost requirements in the life cycle, all species of bat and their roost sites (whether bats are present at the time or not), are fully protected under international and domestic law.

Lighting in the vicinity of a bat roost can cause abandonment of the roost (and potentially the death young pups if a maternity roost). Light pollution from floodlights are also highly likely to disturb torpid and/or hibernating bats during the colder months; this disturbance causes bats to wake when it’s too cold and no insect prey is available – with fatal consequences.

Lighting in the area used for foraging by bats can disturb successful feeding, and may also lead to increased predation of bats.

Awareness of how bats use the landscape should lead to an understanding of the negative impacts of artificial lighting near woodland edges and near hedgerows; grassland, hedgerows and woodland margins are hunting grounds for most bat species.

If artificial lighting cuts across routes between roosts and foraging grounds bats can be excluded from their feeding grounds.

The site is adjacent to Hayling Park, which is bounded by significant lines of trees potentially the site of bat roosts. The grass and woody vegetation are all foraging areas. (see map detail below)

Since it is illegal to injure or cause disturbance that affects populations of bats, greater consideration of the proposed floodlighting is necessary before this application can be approved.

Reference is therefore recommended to the following in order to ensure no harm and biodiversity losses before this application can proceed:

· Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK. Published by BCT and ILP

Bats and the Built Environment series – Guidance Note 8

Ilp-guidance-note-8-bats-and-artificial-lighting-compressed.pdf

· Light Pollution – GOV.UK.html Paragraph: 007 Reference ID: 31-007-20140306

published by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

· Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution report “Artificial Light in the Environment” chap. 4 “Impacts of Light Pollution on Organisms and Ecosystems”

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