MOVE over Batman — there is a new superhero in town.

The fictional Gotham City might be worlds away from Westhoughton but Mayor Ryan Battersby has proved himself quite the hero.

Cllr Battersby rescued an ill bat after finding it on the drive of his Market Street home.

After tending it and enlisting the help of charity, The South Lancashire Bat Group (SLBG), the brown long-eared bat has been released back into the wild after three months of recuperation.

Cllr Battersby said: “I was going to church to play the organ at 8.30am when I saw something move on the drive. I realised it was a bat, picked it up and took it into the house .

“I didn’t think it would survive. It was raining on the day and it looked like a little drenched fluff ball.

“I could tell something had happened to it because it was hardly moving.”

He contacted SLBG who advised him to put it in a cardboard box with holes containing a milk bottle lid filled with water, a damp cloth for moisture and a dry cloth for comfort.

The bat — named Norma by Cllr Battersby — was collected by John Harrison from the charity, who along with charity worker, Fiona Parker nurtured it back to health.

Mr Harrison said: “The bat appeared exhausted but otherwise was uninjured except for damage to the tip of her left ear. Attempts were made to test fly Norma, but she was unable to sustain flight.

“It quickly became apparent that Norma’s condition was deteriorating and care was transferred to one of our two bat care experts, Fiona Parker.”

Norma was taken to the vets as tears appeared in her wings.

Vets diagnosed a fungus, which was eating away her skin. The bat was given an anti-fungal cream to help her recover.

After her wings recovered and her strength returned following a diet of 25 beetle larvae each night, she was returned to Mr Harrison to build up her flying strength in July.

Norma has now been set free.