Stonework bridge repairs and road resurfacing were set to start on the Folly Bridge in Oxford this autumn, but the work has been delayed somewhat by the discovery of Daubenton’s bats – typically found in humid places near water, such as tunnels and bridges over rivers and canals.
Now, further surveys will have to be carried out by Oxfordshire County Council before the repair work can begin, the Oxford Mail reports. In fact, it’s likely that the work will be put off until 2017 as a result of the bats.
The Grade II-listed Folly Bridge was built between 1825 and 1827, and is famous for being the starting off point for the boat trip that Lewis Carroll took that inspired his beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Martin Crabtree, spokesman for the local authority, was quoted by the news source as saying: “We are now required to carry out surveys in order to secure a licence to do any work. The work then has to be programmed in a way that meets criteria relating to bats and their habitat. In the meantime we will be monitoring the bridge and road surface.”
This isn’t the first time that Mother Nature has obstructed necessary bridge repair work. Back in February, work on key road tunnels in Brussels was delayed because mice had apparently eaten the original blueprints for the project. No doubt this proved especially frustrating since serious traffic jams have become a real problem for the seven miles of tunnels, which are now decaying to such an extent that the concrete is crumbling.