Priory Farm is located within the rural landscape of the Wansdyke District and consists of four conjoined barns, which were due for renovation. During the ecological surveys in 2010, three of the four barns had evidence of brown long-eared and common pipistrelle bats, whilst a single lesser horseshoe bat was also recorded within one of the barns.
A European Protected Species licence was written by Ecosulis, and granted by Natural England. The mitigation strategy included replacement roosting opportunities, such as an additional barn within close proximity to the barn would be enhanced to provide suitable roosting opportunities for horseshoe bats.
The mitigation barn, designed to provide suitable roosting opportunities, included internal partitioning constructed within the ridge of the roof with rough surfaced boards creating secluded dark spaces to allow bats to hang up easily within the upper level, whilst not restricting any flight movements. Droppings from the original roost were collected prior to renovation works and placed in the new roost chamber to encourage bats. Whilst the design of this bat roost was specifically for lesser horseshoes it also provides optimal conditions for long-eared bats, pipistrelles and other local bat species that roost within buildings.
In line with recommendations of the mitigation strategy, two monitoring visits of the barns (post-renovation) were undertaken in August 2014. Ecosulis have just undertaken the first monitoring visit which confirmed the presence of three horseshoe bats, recorded flying around the mitigation barn. This indicates the success of the mitigation roost within 12 months of its installation.