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Work on Loch Ness beauty spot delayed by bats

A82
A82

Plans to reopen a Loch Ness viewpoint could be delayed because of bats roosting in a dry-stone wall.

Efforts are being made to open the Wellington lay-by on the A82 again, years after it was partially closed due to safety concerns with the existing wall.

Around 650ft of the 1,049ft lay-by is open, with work due to continue on site to clear vegetation later this month.

However, work due to start later this year could be affected because bats were discovered living in the wall.

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: “The latest phase of work at the Wellington lay-by, due to get underway this month, involves tree and vegetation clearance.

“Bat surveys will also be undertaken to assess existing bat roosts in the wall. Further works are programmed to begin in September 2015, subject to the outcome of the bat surveys.”

As well as rebuilding the parapets of the wall, rock armour will be placed in front of the existing wall to prevent it crumbling down to the loch below.

Stewart Maclean of the A82 Partnership, which campaigns for route improvements, said: “It’s obviously disappointing that yet another tourist season will have gone by without being able to make full use of the lay-by which has such fine views of Loch Ness.”

Forestry Commission Scotland’s work to stabilise a rockface above the Inverness to Fort William road, at Glen Righ, has been extended by a week.

Workmen will stay on site until Friday when the work was due to be completed.

Alex Macleod, of the Forestry Commission Scotland said: “The operation is going well but we are aiming to ensure there is no loose material on the slope over the summer in case there are any periods of sudden high rainfall.

“We’ve consulted fully with Transport Scotland on this change to our plans and have also advised that once we are finished on site we will also reinstate the roadside verges below the site.”

He apologised for any inconvenience the work would cause to holiday-makers, but assured motorists staff would be monitoring traffic levels.

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