Cardigan Castle Bat Survey – award winner

We are delighted to receive news that Cardigan Castle has won an award in the 2017 Civic Trust Awards, Pro-Tem Awards and AABC Conservation Awards, which features 53 projects from a wide range of national and international entries.

Wildwood Ecology was commissioned by The Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust in 2011 to undertake protected and priority species as part of  a £12.5m conservation and restoration project, led by Purcell Architects.

During first phase works lichen, reptile, breeding bird and bat surveys were undertaken on and around the Castle’s curtain walls enabling the removal of the steel shores that had been supporting them. The second phase focused on further extensive bat surveys, enabling the repair, conservation and upgrade of six buildings within the castle walls. To ensure the financial viability of the scheme, holiday accommodation was built alongside, small business workspace, conference facilities and a restaurant into the conserved fabric of the Castle.

The castle supports a colony of greater horseshoe bats, which may have set up home as early as the 13th century within the vaulted basement and during the castle’s restoration work were given their own ‘bat chute’.

Wildwood Ecology also assisted in the installation of two infra-red ‘bat cam’s’ in the medieval basement beneath Castle Green House. Castle facilities officer Sue Lewis said: “The bat cam not only gives visitors a look at the bats but also allows them to have a peek at the castle’s hidden medieval cellar. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding this piece of equipment which is bound to be a hit with visitors of all ages.”

Richard Dodd, Managing Director for Wildwood Ecology, added “We are delighted that Cardigan Castle has won this special award, demonstrating that both built and natural conservation heritage projects can have a truly successful outcome when the right team is chosen. It has been a challenging scheme for all those involved, but enormous credit goes to the team as a whole who never lost focus of ensuring that the project was a win for the bats and buildings, securing their sustainability for future generations.”