Bat boxes installed at £75m Levenmouth rail link project


BAT boxes have been installed along the route of the Levenmouth Rail Link as work continues on the £75 million project to reopen the Leven railway.

Working alongside a bat expert, Network Rail and a team from the Forth Rivers Trust placed the boxes along the bank of the River Leven near Methill in Fife.

The rail management firm said that the boxes will offer refuge for the creatures throughout the duration of the work, which will bring rail travel back to Levenmouth for the first time in over half a century – with stations being created at Leven and Cameron Bridge.

The two styles of boxes installed will be suitable for species such as the common pipistrelle bat, the brown long-eared bat and myotisspecies such as Natterer’s bat.

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.”