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Wildlife boost at multi-million pound new school

Bats are being given a smart new home at a multi-million pound new school development which aims to boost education and enhance the local environment.

Lon Las bats

A survey ahead of demolition of the old, dilapidated, and difficult to maintain YGG Lôn Las School revealed two of its buildings had become home to brown long-eared bats and common pipistrelle bats, both of which are protected species.

Swansea Council and its contractors Dawnus have provided them with tree boxes and a temporary timber bat house located in the school's habitat area while the development is under way.

But when the school is complete, they will have a permanent, purpose-built home in the form of a specially designed loft above the outside storage area in a corner of the school's ecology area.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Next Generation Services, which includes school building projects, said: "This scheme aims to help the development meet the strict national guidelines we have to comply with to protect bats. However, we hope it will also give the children and community a special insight into these fascinating mammals inhabiting the village.

"The bats have already moved successfully into the temporary boxes and it is hoped they will enjoy hanging out in their new home when it's complete."

The £9.8 million Lôn Las project is funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government as part of a 21st Century Schools programme.

The old Welsh medium school has been demolished and building work is well under way to replace it on the same site with a state-of-the-art, new Welsh medium school with upgraded facilities.

It's part of a programme of improving school teaching and learning environments across Swansea to help improve education and boost pupil attainment.

The Lôn Las scheme is also one of the ways the Council is investing in and meeting demand for Welsh medium education. It will house around 500 pupils when complete in autumn 2017.

Have a look at to see a fly-through video of the new school and photos as the site takes shape. 

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