TWO men have been fined after destroying the breeding site of a protected bat.
The offence took place between February 9 and 27 while the men were carrying out building work at a property in Rowlands Castle.
Paul Floyd, 45, and Ronald Floyd, 70, both of Fourth Avenue, Havant, pleaded guilty to destroying a breeding site of a wild animal of a European protected species (Pipistrelle bat).
Both have since appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court and were each fined £200 with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Bats are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
Sergeant Andy Williams from the Country Watch team said: ‘This case shows that the country watch team takes all reports of wildlife crime seriously and will take action against anyone found contravening wildlife regulations.
‘The legislation is in place for a reason to safeguard protected species. It is crucial that property owners and businesses check the regulations before carrying out any work, ensuring they adhere to the law surrounding any protected species.’
Pete Charleston from the Bat Conservation Trust said: ‘The historic decline in bat populations is due in part to the illegal destruction of their roosts. The Bat Conservation Trust regrets the need for any criminal prosecution but is pleased that Hampshire Constabulary has clearly demonstrated that such offending will not be tolerated.
‘Householders who host bat roosts can receive free advice and assistance from the Bat Conservation Trust.’