26 May 2016

The Streets Ahead ecology team are installing around 100 bat boxes across the city, after partnering with Reclaim Sheffield to produce the boxes made out of recycled pallets.

Reclaim Sheffield is a charity that recycles waste to give it a new lease of life, whilst providing work and support for adults with learning difficulties.

Using pallets from the Streets Ahead depot, the charity have been busy hand making bat boxes, which have now been placed in suitable locations across the city, in an attempt to ensure that bats have a variety of places to roost. The boxes are made from heat-treated wood to specifications approved by the Bat Conservation Trust and the Streets Ahead ecologists.

Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We are proud of our green and environmental credentials and it is important to us that we are able to support and help wildlife to thrive in an urban city environment.

“This initiative not only is supporting the city’s bat population who play an important role in many environments across the city, but we are also proud to have enlisted the help and skills of the Reclaim Sheffield staff.

“We are hoping that this will also help readdress some of the misconceptions that people may have about bats, and show some that bats play a vital role in our eco-system. We also hope that the Sheffield public will support us in this initiative and if they do see any bat roosts then do not disturb them.”

Thomas Cullingford, Streets Ahead’s Environment Manager, said: “Bats are an important and protected local species and it’s important to us that we’re always looking for ways to improve the wildlife across the city. Working with Reclaim Sheffield to produce these bat boxes is just one of the ways that we have been able to do this.”

Darren Fitzpatrick of Reclaim Sheffield added: “We offer work experience to people with learning difficulties and making the bat boxes was something different for those that were involved. It was a different kind of work experience for them and they got involved with the cutting out the shapes from the pallets and hammering and nailing them together to produce the boxes. We’re all about creating enjoyable work placements for the people that we help and this was definitely enjoyed! It’s also great that we have been able to help a protected species by providing them with homes.”

Amey, who carry out Streets Ahead upgrade work on behalf of Sheffield City Council, are now looking at other ways in which they can work with Reclaim Sheffield across the country.