A COLONY of bats that had become the bane of Burdekin Park are now the centre of attention in an exercise to fell a series of historic trees they have helped destroy.
In an unusual twist, the bats, which are on a threatened species list, are being guarded and Singleton Council has been given strict instructions not to disturb them during the shake-up.
Nine 150-year-old trees in Burdekin Park on the New England Highway have been earmarked for a night-time demolition - to occur towards the end of this month.
Council parks and facilities manager Alan Fletcher said the trees were planted in the late 1860s.
"Some are over 150 years old and are going to die but the colony of flying foxes have compounded the situation, hastening the demise of the trees," he said.
The trees include jacarandas, silky oaks, shire pines and bunyip pines.
Mr Fletcher said work would be at night to limit the effect on the animals.
He said a qualified bat handler would assess the animals before the felling and stay on site during removal.
A tree rejuvenation project will take place after the removal and is being overseen by landscape architects.
- Donna Sharpe