A veterinary practice has opened in Bracknell, Berkshire, featuring a bat roosting box in addition to the more usual features of a modern small animal clinic.
Bracken Vets, part of Berkshire-based practice group Active Vetcare, saw it first patients on Monday 27 November. The new clinic has been purpose-built on a site in the centre of Bracknell, which was previously a scuba diving shop and cafe. When work commenced in October 2016, it was discovered that bats had made a home in the old building. As a result, a temporary bat box was installed to give them shelter should they return during the construction period. Bracken Vets also agreed to include a permanent bat roosting box on the site and it has been incorporated into the new building.
Commenting, Senior Vet Mrs Jenny Brown said: “The design and layout of our new veterinary centre has been fully designed by a team of vets who are all pet owners to ensure that visits are as stress-free as possible for patients and their owners. We offer separate waiting areas for both dogs and cats, as well as a separate cat consulting room and plenty of parking. With the building work now finished, we have plans to enhance the range of services we offer over the next few months.”
She added: “Noctule Bats are the largest native species in the UK though are still smaller than the palm of your hand and it was a colony of these animals which was using the previous building as a roost. We liaised with Natural England for advice on ensuring their safety during the building work and installed a temporary bat box onsite to ensure that they had somewhere to roost once demolition began. Some of the roof demolition was undertaken by hand under the supervision of an ecologist in case bats were found.
“Now, in addition to the great facilities that we can offer our patients, we’ve created a permanent roost for the colony and hope that they will move in soon. The whole team at Bracken Veterinary Centre is looking forward to meeting the pets of Bracknell and their owners over the next few months and we hope to be welcoming the Noctule Bats to their new home soon too!”
Bracken Veterinary Centre is based at 37 Binfield Road and can be contacted on 01344 304238. Active Vetcare, part of the CVS Group, has clinics at in Tilehurst, Caversham, Woodley, Twyford, Maidenhead, Slough, Marlow and Beaconsfield.