Spurs Versus The Bats

By Rob Last edited 142 months ago
Spurs Versus The Bats

Tottenham Hotspur FC wants to create a 'cutting edge' £30 million training centre in Bulls Cross, Enfield. The problem? The 56-acres of land they're looking at developing is believed to be home to a protected rare species of bat called the barbastelle.

(The barbastelle's other claim to fame is that it's one of the ugliest type of bat, but let's not hold that against them eh?)

No communtiy of barbastelle's has ever been seen in London before so, as you might imagine, people like the Bat Conservation Trust are quite keen that Spurs don't just go in and bulldoze them all to hell (hell being, presumably, where bats go when they die). Here's what the BCT have said about the whole thing:

The Greater London Authority is carrying out more surveys as the bats are very hard to detect. They very much rely on woodland for roosting, but can travel if they want to feed. If the bats are in Enfield, and more surveys are needed, then the developer would have to put in compensation and litigation measures, which would involve creating more roosting space.

This whole bat thing is just another spanner in the works for Suprs who've already met quite a bit of resistance to their development plans in East London (sound familiar?).

You can read more about the ugly little barbastelles here, and the BBC's attempts to locate some are documented here.

Last Updated 08 June 2006

Richard from Naturewatch in Ch

Sorry to be picky but the Bat Conservation Trust would have talked about mitigation not litigation. This is a technical term referring to measures that are taken to lessen the impact of development on the endangered species in question. The key issue here is to what extent the bats use the site: do they happen to pass through once in a while, or do they breed there? With some developments it's possible to go ahead in a bat-friendly way, by putting up bat boxes, preserving particular trees or buildings, etc. etc. Whether that kind of thing is possible here depends upon the particulars of the site and the nature of the proposed development.