Located in the Llanthony Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Llwyn Celyn is regarded as one of the most remarkable of all surviving late-medieval houses in Wales. Wildwood Ecology was instructed to provide ecological support for the restoration of this series of historic buildings. Llwyn Celyn is now a fascinating and comfortable place to stay, with glorious views of the Skirrid and Sugar Loaf mountains.
The site was in a perilous state, with water coursing from the hillside through the main house which had been protected by emergency scaffolding since the early 1990s. The site was also home to seven species of bats, including the rare lesser horseshoe. As such, it is one of the most complex restorations The Landmark Trust has ever undertaken.
The proposed works were for the restoration of a Grade 1 listed building and a series of historic barns, regarded by Cadw as one of the finest medieval hall houses in Wales.
Wildwood Ecology worked alongside John Goom Architects and local contractors I.J. Preece & Sons to design and implement specialist ecological services that enabled the successful restoration Llwyn Celyn, Monmouthshire and the protection of bats. Site surveys and assessment were undertaken between 2013 and 2016. On behalf of the client Wildwood Ecology provided the following ecological services:
- Project management, including a preliminary roost assessment and a series of dusk emergence and pre-dawn bat roost surveys.
- Identified the presence of a multiple roosts, including rare species bat (lesser horseshoe), within the main hall house and other historic barns.
- Provided advice on the legal and planning policy issues and recommendations on how to address these.
- Successful planning application to Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and subsequent mitigation licence to Natural Resources Wales.
- Onward audit reports, discharge of planning and mitigation licence conditions and species monitoring to 2022.
The Landmark Trust raised £4.2million to restore the site and carry out the associated programmes, including a 2.525m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Planning permission following all surveys was granted in 2016 in Monmouthshire and monitoring works are ongoing under close supervision by Wildwood Ecology.
Such was the success of the ecological work carried out in support of the restoration, Llwyn Celyn was shortlisted for Best Practice Mitigation Case Study in the 2021 Roost Awards. You can read the full case study here.
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