We reported on this 'phenomenal' find five years ago this week

A rare species of bat has been found for the first time in more than half a century.

The Barbastelle Bat was discovered in the Old Farm Buildings in Hainault Forest Country Park with the help of some static detectors.

It is the first time the bat has been seen in the borough.

Huma Pearce, ecologist at Mostly Bats said: "It's phenomenal to have a verified record of Barbastelle Bat in London after over 50 years.

“Declines in Barbastelle bats and other bat species have been attributed to the extensive loss of deciduous woodland, intensive agriculture, the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides, and landscape-scale fragmentation of natural habitats associated with development.

“With a focus on the built environment, natural habitats within cities are too often over-looked.

"Records like this give merit to the value of London's woodlands as important wildlife refuges that must be preserved.

“This new recording is testament to London Borough of Redbridge's and Heritage Lottery Fund's efforts to restore the areas woodlands.

"It brings the total of resident bat species recorded in London to 11 out of the 17 species occurring in the UK."

The Barbastelle Bat makes its home in the crevices of old trees in mature forests. Its roosts are found in a handful of locations and is not found in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

No verified sightings of the bat have been recorded in London since the late 1950s.