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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Chapel's bats get roof protection
A lesser horseshoe bat roosting in a Dolgellau gold mine
The bats were roosting in the chapel roof
Chapel-goers near Dolgellau, Gwynedd have safeguarded a colony of bats above them by having their new roof specially constructed.

At one time, Libanus chapel in Ganllwyd was home to around 320 lesser horseshoe bats, but the roof's deterioration had caused their numbers to drop.

Land management scheme Rhaglen Tir Eryri gave a grant to pay for the specialist work needed on the roof.

The bats' habitat is protected under European legislation.

Rhaglen Tir Eryri also advised the builders on the best way to rebuild the roof while protecting and maintaining the habitat.

Emyr Williams from the organisation said careful planning and detailed discussions had gone into safeguarding the bats' future as well as the needs of the congregation.

He added that the Countryside Council for Wales had also been consulted.

"We can be proud that we have succeeded in safeguarding an important resource for the residents of Ganllwyd, man and animal," he said.

Plum size

The lesser horseshoe bat breeds during the summer months in many old buildings within Snowdonia National Park, especially in the Mawddach and Ffestiniog areas.

It is pinky-buff brown in colour with an approximate wingspan of 20-25cm and is about plum size when resting with the wings wrapped around the body.

It is the second smallest bat in the UK and has a complex nose which is adapted to its particular type of echolocation system.

The scheme in Ganllwyd is one of 25 schemes to protect bats funded by Rhaglen Tir Eryri.

Special bridges to save rare bats
29 Mar 07 |  South East Wales
Highway built for horseshoe bats
20 Feb 05 |  Somerset
Rare species projects grant boost
13 Oct 06 |  North West Wales
Bat 'des res' put on hold
19 Feb 04 |  Wales

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