Spooktacular! Town of Monster opens 'batbridge'

2015-10-30 19:10


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The Hague - In a freaky twist of the calendar, a new bridge to provide a safe haven for bats has just opened days before Halloween in a Dutch town called ... Monster.

"The aim is that the bridge can act as a shelter for four different kinds of bats at different points in the year," said Bart Reuser from the firm Next Architects.

Spanning about 25m, the overpass has been built at a cost of about €700 000 out of concrete "which keeps the heat in winter" and "is not too hot in summer."

Nicknamed the "batbridge," it snakes over a small canal and has been specially constructed with numerous cavities in which the flying mammals can hunker down to hibernate or reproduce.

Recreational park

The Netherlands boasts about 20 different kinds of bats, all protected since 1973, according to Dutch experts. But across Europe the creatures have been increasingly endangered by a loss of habitat.

Opened in the western Dutch town of Monster, the bridge is situated along a flight path commonly used by bats.

Cars and traffic are banned. Only cyclists and pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge in order not to disturb the bats from their sleep.

Built as part of a project by local authorities to create a green recreational park, Reuser said it would be a while before the first bats take up residence.

As for the date of the bridge's opening, just before legions of ghosts and vampires are due to stalk the streets? It's merely a coincidence, and "not at all intentional," said Reuser.

In fact, Halloween is not widely celebrated across the Netherlands.

Read more on:    the netherlands  |  conservation

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