Save Ruperra’s Greater Horseshoe Bats!

Greater horseshoes are one of our rarest bats!

Greater horseshoe bat by Paolo Taranto.

Greater horseshoe bat by Paolo Taranto.

Both the Bridgend and Cardiff Local Groups of the Trust (WTSWW) have been on visits to Coed Craig Ruperra - a planted ancient woodland site between Caerphilly and Newport, which is owned by the Ruperra Conservation Trust, and is being restored to native woodland. One of the highlights of any such visit in summer is to see the greater horseshoe bats emerging from their maternity roost in one of the derelict outbuildings of the adjacent Ruperra castle.

Greater horseshoes are one of our rarest bats and they are restricted to South West England and Southern Wales. In Wales there are only five breeding colonies and the colony at Ruperra is the only one in South East Wales. Unfortunately this roost is now under threat from development. The owner of the castle wants to convert the building right next to the greater horseshoe roost into residential flats. This will inevitably lead to more light pollution, noise and human disturbance, all of which are known to be very aversive to greater horseshoes. There is a real risk that the bats will abandon the colony.

The Ruperra Conservation Trust is mounting a campaign to try and ensure that the owner's planning application is rejected by Caerphilly Council in order to protect the bats.

It has produced a briefing note which is available to view here  and which tells you what you can do to help.

For further information you can also contact the Cardiff Group of the Trust at wtswwcardiff@gmail.com.