News

Restoration of a historic listed building and bats

Historic listed buildings and bats are fairly synonymous. Llwyn Celyn comprises of a Grade I Listed medieval house and farm buildings and has been continuously inhabited since it was built around 1480.

The Landmark Trust, through the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous donations, have now fully restored all the buildings on site which has taken almost three years and required the full range of professional and traditional craft skills. As with many historic buildings, bats were considered early on in the restoration design prior to the submission of a planning application and listed building consent. Wildwood Ecology undertook detailed surveys between 2013 and 2015 and helped secure planning permission and consent in March 2016. An European Protected Species Mitigation Licence  (EPSML) application was made and approved in May 2016.

Species present on site include lesser horseshoe, brown long-eared, common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, Whiskered and Natterer’s bats.

As the full restoration progressed, it was inevitable that unexpected findings are made, plans are changed and unfortunately timescales start to slip. It is testament to the Landmark Trust’s project management and their contractors (the likes we have never worked with before) that issues relating to some of these changes was resolved swiftly and effectively, with concern given to both the conservation of the buildings and bats.

On 04 October 2018 our Managing Director (Richard Dodd) was delighted to attend the opening ceremony at Llwyn Celyn and to see such a truly magnificent house restored for people to continue to enjoy, alongside spaces for community exhibitions, events and training.

Wildwood has and will continue to monitor the bats, their roosts and newly planted habitats (inducing hedgerows and an orchard) at Llwyn Celyn. The great news is that all the mitigation measures are being used by bats, including the return a maternity roost for lesser horseshoe and brown long-eared bats during the summer months. Small numbers of bats also use the site as a transitional roost.

To find out more information on this amazing restoration project, including availability for hire, see here. To discover more on listed buildings and bats, have a look at our case studies.