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Going batty for wildlife at Rossmere Park

Ian Bond leads members of the group on the batwalk
Ian Bond leads members of the group on the batwalk

Members of a community group ventured into a Hartlepool park at dusk when they got up close and personal with bats and other wildlife.

Ian Bond, a former Hartlepool Borough Council ecologist and one of the leading lights of the Durham Bat Group, led over 30 members of the Friends of Rossmere on a night-time bat walk around Rossmere Park.

Fin Armstrong with his bat detector

Fin Armstrong with his bat detector

It was a great success and using bat detectors they spotted a number of the fascinating creatures.

Stephen Taylor of the friends group said: “Ian brought a caged bat, a pipistrelle called Poppy to meet people before giving a briefing on bats and how to use bat detectors.

“We then gave out bat detectors to each family group and proceeded into the park.

“Many bats were seen and as a bonus a couple of herons were seen on the island.”

NES Security arranged for the park to be closed later than usual so the walk on April 21 could happen.

Terrapins have also been spotted recently living in the park.

Friends of Rossmere member Anthony Fairley snapped pictures of one of the animals.

It is believed to be part of a colony that has lived in the park for many years.

The bat walk was the latest in a series of recent events that the friends group has taken part in in the park.

Other activities that have been a success have included a clean up of the park pond when fence spikes, iron bars, two children’s scooters, a length of pipe, tree branches and a fishing rod were removed.

It contributed to 10 bags of dirt and rubbish that were taken away.

Other activities included a day of hard digging to prepare flower beds for planting by local Rainbows and Cubs in May.

Members have also removed an unsightly bed of tall grass which is to be replaced with flowers.

And at Easter, the friends group held an Easter egg hunt in the park which attracted more than 60 local children.

The Friends of Rossmere were formed after the former Friends of Rossmere Park group disbanded back in 2013 due to lack of interest.

But after an appeal for people to get on board in January last year, the group has gone from strength to strength.

It believes that by getting children and young people involved they will not only help make a positive contribution to the park and Rossmere area, but also help to prevent vandalism later on.

Anyone who wants to find out more about the work of the group can contact Stephen Taylor on 07973 300527.