Bats moved out of Broadmoor Hospital ahead of £285 million rebuildBy Julie Spencer
November 20, 2012
RARELY-seen occupants of Broadmoor Hospital are being moved out ahead of its £285m rebuild.
Work has started to re-house bats which live in some of the secure hospital’s unused 150-year-old buildings.
Nests and hibernation boxes have been strung up in trees to encourage the bats to move out of crevices in the Victorian Silver Birches block at the site in Crowthorne.
Consultants from Ecology Planning and Research (EPR) have put up 17 summer bat nest boxes and two hibernation boxes in the first step to move them into attic space in the new hospital.
Susie Melhuish, EPR ecologist, said: “There are 18 species of bats in the UK and Silver Birches, the building we are currently working on plays host to the most common – brown long-eared and common pipistrelle.
“Because bats are a protected species, the trust has worked closely with us to make sure full inspections have been carried out and required licences obtained before starting to move them and redevelop the premises.”
Work will start on the rebuild next year and the West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s new 16-ward hospital should be open to patients in 2017.
Once the build is finished, hibernating and maternity boxes will be put into the attic areas of the hospital.
David Phillips, redevelopment programme manager, said: “This is a large-scale redevelopment project which will result in major benefits in patient treatment and the way in which hospital staff work. However, it’s important that this is carried out sensitively and in a way that is an environmentally friendly as possible.
“Therefore our ecology programme has been carefully planned to ensure none of the bat roosts will be disturbed or destroyed during the hibernation period which runs from November until March.”