Activists have mounted a bat box on a ULEZ camera pole in a bid to stop the installation of a new camera. 

The bat box, on Stanley Road North at its junction with Hood Road in Rainham, was reportedly installed by anti-ULEZ groups on Sunday (March 24).

A notice attached with the box, the pictures show, warns anyone from removing it as bats are among protected species.

The notice claims: “Bats have been observed to be using this bat box as a resting place. All bat species, their breeding sites and resting places are fully protected by law - they are European protected species."

Romford Recorder: The bat box was installed on March 24The bat box was installed on March 24 (Image: FrankyBoy)Among the actions the notice says will amount to breaking the law include damaging or destroying a breeding or resting place, deliberately capturing, or injuring and killing a bat and obstructing access to their shelter.

It adds that anyone found guilty “could be sent to prison for up to six months, and/or get an unlimited fine”.

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One anti-ULEZ activist, who goes by the name 'FrankyBoy', told the Recorder that local people are “angry with ULEZ” and that it has impacted “poor and old and vulnerable people who are suffering because of it”.

While he is against any sort of vandalism of the ULEZ cameras, he believes the bat box is a harmless and ingenious way of trying to stop the cameras being installed in Havering.  

Romford Recorder: Notice attached to the pole warns people against removing the bat boxNotice attached to the pole warns people against removing the bat box (Image: FrankyBoy)“This camera has been cut down three times before and replaced on taxpayer’s money. Local people are very upset with ULEZ as the majority people in Havering said no to it, but the Mayor does not listen," FrankyBoy said.

The idea for the bat box, he claimed, came from a local wildlife enthusiast who liked watching bats in Chessington, Kingston Upon Thames.

FrankyBoy added: “This (bat box) is not criminal. If anything, they have saved a £10K camera being replaced and then being vandalised and helped nature in the process."

He also accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of deploying resources for ULEZ, but not doing enough to contain knife crimes in Havering and London.

With the bat box in place, FrankyBoy hopes TfL is deterred from making local people pay hefty ULEZ fines.

Dr Joe Nunez-Mino of the Bat Conservation Trust however disagrees with the legal aspect highlighted by the box’s notice.

He said: “All 18 species of bats and their roosts are protected by law, because of their significant historical decline. You need a licensed bat worker to carry out a check on a bat box, but that does not mean they cannot be legally removed with a correct authority.

“The licensing authority in this case would be Natural England, they have power to make decisions based on the evidence available."

He also said a bat box placed next to a busy road would be highly unlikely to be used by any bat species, so would not be very useful for conservation.  

“The noise and artificial light would act as a powerful deterrent and the bat boxes are likely to remain unoccupied”, he added.

The Recorder contacted the Mayor of London’s office for its response on the matter but a spokesperson refrained from commenting due to this being pre-election period.