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St Andrew's Church at Stoke Dry in Rutland told to draw up a mitigation strategy to prevent harm to colony of Natterer's bats

St Andrew's Church at Stoke Dry, near Uppingham, has been told it must devise a ‘mitigation strategy’ to prevent harm to rare bats when it replaces part of its roof.

The Grade 1-listed church, parts of which date back to the 12th century, has gained planning approval from Rutland County Council to replace lead roofing on the north aisle and nave with terne coated steel.

The church suffered the thefts during a spate of lead roof thefts across Rutland last June.

St Andrew's Church
St Andrew's Church

The planning application stemmed from a growing number of lead roof thefts ‘crippling rural parishes’ leading to the use of cheaper terne coated steel, which looks like lead but is less prone to theft.

Approving the application, Rutland County Council said bats used the church, including a maternity colony of the ‘uncommon’ Natterer’s bats, so a mitigation strategy was needed to prevent harm to them or their roosts. This included having an on-site ecologist who would complete a site diary when relevant work was done.

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