The ArgusBats at risk from fracking (From The Argus)

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Sussex's rare bat population at risk from fracking, report finds

Fracking could seriously harm Sussex’s rare bat population, a report has found.

The Weald Basin is home to the endangered and protected Barbestella bat.

But a report by the RSPB into the environmental impact of fracking found the derricks needed for exploratory drilling for shale gas could have an adverse impact on the creatures.

Recently submitted plans for exploratory drilling in the basin included proposals for a 45-metre derrick to be lit 24 hours a day, with additional lighting required for safety reasons.

 


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The impact of light pollution on nature was recently highlighted by a study the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, which said “there is potential for some aspect of life and its rhythms – migration, reproduction, feeding – to be affected by artificial light”.

It continued: “A well known example is the effect on the feeding of bats caused by insects clustering around outdoor light sources.”

The study concluded major threats to the species included anything which affected their roosts, forage areas and flightline habitats.

In one previous case a large floodlit pumping station near Pulborough interrupted the forage patterns of a less light sensitive species of bats.

The report also said there is early evidence that barbastelle bats are responsive to light pollution.

Sussex has been at the forefront of the battle over the controversial gas extraction.

Last year Balcombe saw anti-fracking protestors gather at drilling firm Cuadrilla’s test site.

The company later said it would not be fracking in the area.

And a group of landowners attempted to use the trespass law to stop energy firm Celtique Energy from exploratory drilling in the Fernhurst area.

An RSPB spokeswoman said rare and protected species, including barbastelle bats and nightjars, are among the wildlife likely to be affected by fracking in Sussex.

RSPB conservation officer Alison Giacomelli said: “The High Weald in Sussex is a protected landscape which has been licensed for fracking and it is home to internationally important population of nightjars, which are vulnerable to disturbance.

“These areas are legally protected because of their special landscape and wildlife, so it is contradictory to allow fracking which potentially affects the countryside and the important species living there.

“The effects of fracking in sensitive areas on wildlife and the risks of water pollution are such that we would recommend those areas are avoided altogether for exploration.”

Comments (4)

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9:29am Sun 30 Mar 14

roystony says...

Surely its a good thing to put the old bat Lucas at risk.
Surely its a good thing to put the old bat Lucas at risk. roystony
  • Score: 4

10:07am Sun 30 Mar 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Hopefully when she has finished protecting the environment in Balcombe, which is outside of her constituency, she will return to deal with the travellers who were in wild park for almost a month before moving to stammer park. One day the quad bike which had been parked outside a caravan was being ridden by a group of young men through the woodlands during a key breeding time for many species.
There are also bats and other creatures in these areas so it would be nice to see her doing something to protect the local environment she was elected to serve instead of PR opportunity events.
Hopefully when she has finished protecting the environment in Balcombe, which is outside of her constituency, she will return to deal with the travellers who were in wild park for almost a month before moving to stammer park. One day the quad bike which had been parked outside a caravan was being ridden by a group of young men through the woodlands during a key breeding time for many species. There are also bats and other creatures in these areas so it would be nice to see her doing something to protect the local environment she was elected to serve instead of PR opportunity events. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 13

11:22am Sun 30 Mar 14

fredaj says...

A standard UK electricity pylon is 46.5 metres while an on-shore wind turbine is often over 50 metres.

So why are we suddenly concerned about the height of fracking equipment?
A standard UK electricity pylon is 46.5 metres while an on-shore wind turbine is often over 50 metres. So why are we suddenly concerned about the height of fracking equipment? fredaj
  • Score: 9

12:34pm Sun 30 Mar 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

I thought the Tories agreed fracking was only to be done in the industrial wastelands of the North? They've got no reason to be upset as there is little reason for them to go outside up there. We can't possibly have this sort of thing happening hear in Widdle-on-the-Green. The man from village who cuts my hedges said it will play havoc with my begonias.
I thought the Tories agreed fracking was only to be done in the industrial wastelands of the North? They've got no reason to be upset as there is little reason for them to go outside up there. We can't possibly have this sort of thing happening hear in Widdle-on-the-Green. The man from village who cuts my hedges said it will play havoc with my begonias. From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 1

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