Today sees us completing on our purchase of this 60s Ugly Duckling. Guess what, we have just found out that we will need to do a Bat Survey if we want to change the roof line. And of course these surveys can only take place between May and September – so looks like our first timing delay with the build has happened before we have even completed our purchase.
That said it will be interesting to see what is involved in these surveys and meet the ecologists who conduct them.
This reminds me of the evenings we spent on our roof terrace in Abidjan watching the Fruit Bats on their daily journey from the Plateau – where they spent the day – to the country where they spent the night. Literally hundreds flew over in a large swarm each evening; so many they sometimes blocked out the sun; and their cries filled the dusk, drowning out the usual night music from insects and frogs for those few minutes of their passage.
Sadly there was a darker side to this image – that of the Ebola crisis that ravaged West Africa during the period we were there which in part was attributed to the custom of eating fruit bats. The devastating effect of this crisis which touched so many families has set back development in the countries affected by decades; and we are still waiting to find out what the effect of the hastily licensed vaccines will be long-term. As with many of these major humanitarian crises the media attention span is short whilst the effects will last for generations.