Street lights may be helpful for motorists, but they can be particularly worrisome for bats. Caring about their health, one English county has come up with an ingenious solution.
The county of Worcestershire is preparing to switch on an array of bat-friendly street lights—and they are the first of their kind in the UK.
Research shows that certain species of bat are light-shy and will not cross roads that are lit by white lights, which can stop them accessing food supplies and water. Bright street lights also attract the flies and insects the bats feed on, and so reduce the food available for bats and other mammals in their typical feeding areas.
These LED lights, on the other hand, are red in color and use a unique “recipe” of light which does not affect bats and their flying and feeding habits.
Similar lighting schemes in the Netherlands have proved successful, helping to preserve bat species and other nocturnal wildlife.
The new Worcestershire lights are spread across a 60-meter swath of highway near the Warndon Wood nature reserve.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure said: “These ground-breaking lights are a great example where we have been able to adapt the usual standards to better suit the local environment.”
“The adapted lighting being used may look a little different at first, but we’d like to assure those using the area at night that the color of the lights has been through stringent testing and adheres to all safety checks.”
Visibility for drivers and pedestrians is not affected by the red light and is fully compliant with the required standards. The light “recipe” not only meets the needs of road users and residents, but, like an immune booster, supports the daily nutrition requirements of their winged wildlife neighbors.
Source: Worcestershire City Council
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