A COLONY of bats living at Peckforton Castle will be well looked after during its refurbishment thanks to Stan the bat man.
The colony of about 100 bats had been living in an unused part of the Castle, which is now undergoing a £1.5m refurbishment . As part of the planning process and conservation considerations, the welfare management of the bats is a crucial aspect of the project’s success.
Peckforton Castle owner and managing director, Chris Naylor, said: “The bats are a primary consideration of the refurbishment programme and we had to be sure that they were properly cared for. We couldn’t proceed with the refurbishment until a solution was found, so who better to call on than Stan the bat man?”
Ecological consultant Stan Irwin of the Tyra partnership was called in to advise on the species of bats living at Peckforton Castle and he found more than he bargained for when he discovered a breeding colony of Natterer’s bats.
The UK population of Natterer’s bats is of international importance and is a fully protected species under UK and European wildlife legislation.
Chris added: “They use Peckforton Castle to breed and raise their young after the winter. The combination of cavities in the old stone walls and the nearby foraging habitat of the surrounding woodland make the site ideal for their specific requirements.
“So special are these bats – who hibernate elsewhere and return to the castle in the spring – that all work on the £1.5m refurbishment must be scheduled so they’re not disturbed.”