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Network Rail and the Forth Rivers Trust have worked together to install new bat boxes along the corridor of the new Levenmouth Rail link.
After the initial removal of trees along the route, the new bat boxes have been installed as part of the Leven Connectivity Programme.
Advice was sought from a bat specialist, and the new bat boxes were placed along the bank of the River Leven.
Mature trees were chosen, and included willow, alder and birch trees. Two different styles of bat boxes have been chosen, and are suitable for the common pipistrelle bat, brown long-eared bat, and Myotis species, such as Natterer’s bat.
While the work to reinstate the rail link takes place, it is hoped that these new boxes placed along the rail corridor will offer safe refuge for the bats.
As part of the Levenmouth line works, two new stations will be created at Leven and Cameron Bridge, with 2 trains each hour going to Edinburgh.
Credit: Network Rail
Helen Simmons, one of Network Rail’s ecologists, said: “Unavoidably, vegetation clearance for the new rail link involved cutting down trees which provided habitat for a range of birds and wildlife – including bats.
“While we carried out all of the required surveys to safeguard any protected species in advance of work and took out only the minimal amount of trees needed to create a safe rail corridor, this inevitably has an impact on the wildlife.
“The boxes will offer alternative/ compensatory roosting opportunities throughout the construction period, and thereafter until the natural habitat around the completed railway regenerates to the point where it will again provide natural roosting opportunities habitat for bats, birds and other species”.
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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