WWII Pillbox to be Converted to a Wildlife Haven

The Canal and Rivers Trust, along with a team of local volunteers, will be converting a WWII pillbox located on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal banks into a nature haven in the coming months.

The said project will develop the WWII pillbox along with the surrounding lands in Creech St Michael into wildlife homes that the community will also be able to enjoy.

The WWII pillbox structure will be converted into a home for bats with a pond and a wildflower meadow by the team of experts from the Canal and Rivers Trust Organization working alongside several volunteers from the locality.

It is widely known that the loss of suitable habitat has played a role in the major decline of the number of bats, which rely on cave-like structures to grow their young ones, within the country and the organization aims to lessen the impact of that circumstance.

The WWII pillbox is suited for bats’ breeding grounds as the mini-fortress is quite small and has cave-like qualities to it. The team plans to kit out the inside of the structure so that there will be crevices where the dark-loving mammals could roost in. The group also plans to seal the door so that bats will go living inside the WWII pillbox disturbance-free.

As all the eighteen species of bats found in the UK have insects at the top of their food list, the pond and the wildflower meadow will serve as the attraction for their food source.

As the Canal & River Trust heritage adviser, David Viner, pointed out, the WWII pillbox will be a bat habitat situated in a first-class location.

Mr. Viner also traced the heritage of several WWII pillboxes within the area. The WWII pillbox they are planning to turn into a bat sanctuary is, apparently, not the only one in existence within the area. These defensive structures were built at around 1940. And though they add an interesting twist in the history of the canal, Mr. Viner stated that it is quite difficult to find appropriate uses for the WWII pillboxes littering within the area.

The structure of a WWII pillbox is extremely small and is not quite versatile. He said that converting the WWII pillbox will not only give the bats a new home, the work will also preserve the said historical landmark.

Mr. Viner finds it very important to preserve the history of the building as much as he wants bats to live in there. After all, the WWII pillbox did play a vital role during the Second World War.

HE puts the completion of the WWII pillbox makeover on spring of this year.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE