The project relates to the environmental management of a 6km long on-line highway improvement of Section 1 of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road in South Wales, within the Brecon Beacons National Park.

It affects two Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s) designated under the European Union Natura 2000 programme. One is the Usk Bat Sites SAC which contains 5% of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat population of the UK.

Following an Appropriate Assessment, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) were concerned that the integrity of the SAC would be affected. Construction works only commenced by Ministerial approval through the signing of an Imperative Reason of Overriding Public Interest (IROPI).

The TACP team developed a bat monitoring plan to collect sufficient data to ensure that CCW was convinced that the integrity of the SAC was not compromised by the construction works and that bat numbers were maintained.

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