AN unsuspecting Cookley resident found herself leading a mission to rescue a tiny bat that got entangled in a fishing line, with the help of local school children.

Rose Hutton, aged 55, was taking her usual walk with her dog Cooper along the canal in Caunsall on Wednesday, July 3, when she spotted something small, flapping across the canal.

Looking closer, she was shocked to see a bat caught on a spent fishing line on an overhanging tree.

She could not get access to the branch, but remembered seeing some school children bell boating nearby.

Rose then explained the situation to Wolverley Primary School deputy head Alison Churchard and sports coach Luke McDonnell, who were instructing the children, and they made no hesitation in wanting to help rescue the creature.

It is illegal to handle a bat, as they are a protected species, so Rose suggested they use a bag she had used to carry bread to feed the geese.

After Rose showed them where the little bat was, the children skilfully paddled underneath the suspended bat.

Mr McDonnell held the bag under the bat, placed it inside and broke the fishing line.

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Rose then took the bat home, placed it in a cardboard box in her garage, and called the National Bat Helpline.

They advised her not to touch the bat, but to place a shallow dish of water in the box, as bats can easily dehydrate.

She then contacted local volunteer Mrs Jenny Singh, who came to her home later that day to remove an embedded hook and length of fishing line from its torso.

The bat was examined and was found to be an adult female common pipistrelle, who had recently given birth.

Following the examination, the bat seemed well enough to be released back into its habitat, and Rose returned it to the location where it was found.

Rose said: “I was buzzing at the end of the day. It was so surreal and something that's never happened before in my life.

"It was great to see how mature the children were and to think we made a difference.

"It was a team effort that saved this beautiful little creature, and I would like to say a huge thank you to the staff and key stage two pupils from Wolverley Primary School and Jenny Singh from the National Bat Rescue, who made this a success story."

"Wolverley Primary also took part in the Stourport Bell Boating Regatta, where they came first, which was another great achievement for the School and its pupils."