Bats and Historic Buildings

Historic buildings are part of our cultural and physical landscape.  They contribute to the nation’s understanding of its past and present.  Historic buildings are also important for bats with some having provided safe roosting sites for many years.

Approximately 60% of pre 16th Century buildings contain bat roosts. Many owners and managers of these buildings live with their roosts.  However, without appropriate management, large bat populations can damage historic buildings.

The last century saw a dramatic decline in bat populations, largely due to a loss of habitat. As a result of this all bats are now protected by law.  This means that the presence of bats within historic buildings may, at some point, lead to challenges.  However, such challenges can be over come. Here we report on a successful ‘win-win’ outcome for both the built and the natural heritage on a site in Wales.


The Landmark Trust – Historic Buildings at Llwyn Celyn, Monmouthshire

Llwyn Celyn is a Grade I listed Medieval house and farm buildings purchased by The Landmark Trust thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous donations.  Wildwood Ecology is proud that our experienced and licensed bat specialists were able to assist The Landmark Trust with the complex project to restore these historic buildings.

Our detailed bat surveys between 2013 and 2015 helped The Landmark Trust secure the necessary planning permission and consent in March 2016.  A European Protected Species Mitigation Licence (EPSML) followed in May 2016.

During the restoration Wildwood Ecology’s bat specialists advised on unexpected finds and changes to the works programme.  It is testament to The Landmark Trust and their contractors that issues relating to bats were highlighted early on in the renovation programme.  This close working relationship ensured that the project was completed on time.  Now fully restored, the house and farm buildings at Llwyn Celyn are available for people to enjoy for many years to come.

The great news is that all of the mitigation design was successful and is being used by bats, including the return of a maternity roost for lesser horseshoe and brown long-eared bats.  Small numbers of bats are also using the site as a traditional roost.

Contact us for information on how Wildwood Ecology can help with your historic building renovation project.