New hedgerow protects bats from Little Hadham A120 bypass
Contractors building the new Little Hadham bypass have also constructed a new route – for rare barbastelle bats.
One of the UK’s rarest species, the creatures have just two known breeding sites in Hertfordshire – one of them just east of the £30m A120 relief road.
They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Barbastelles feed on moths and flies, flying just above trees and hedges at dusk, and can travel as far as 20km (12.4 miles) a night foraging for their food, so to maintain their foraging routes, 2.2 miles (3.7km) of new hedgerows have been planted and are becoming established.
Contractor GRAHAM is also building the new Hadham Park underpass that will reroute a farm track and bridleway under the 2.4-mile (3.9km) bypass.
The lighting at Hadham Park roundabout has been carefully positioned and designed with lower columns to lessen the impact on wildlife, including the bats.
The bypass project also includes flood alleviation measures for 72 homes in partnership with the Environment Agency. Work on the Lloyd Taylor Drain at The Ford in Little Hadham is continuing throughout the summer holidays.
The site team has used a mobile crane capable of lifting up to 120 tonnes to install pre-cast concrete sections weighing approximately seven tonnes.
Planning permission for the project, which aims to ease traffic congestion on The Ash traffic lights in Little Hadham, was granted in January 2017.
The proposals are for a northern bypass of the A120, along the boundary of Albury parish, comprising a single-carriageway road, verges, roundabout junctions, bridges, embankments, landscaping and associated engineering over an area of 100 acres (40.5 hectares).
New roundabouts will link the bypass to the existing A120 – between Hadham Park and Hadham Lodge at Bishop's Stortford in the east and between The Ash and Albury End Road junction in the west.