Long Brown-eared Bats Return to Fota House

Protecting Biodiversity while Preserving our Built Heritage

Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens is a cultural gem and visitor attraction in Cork and a haven for biodiversity.  As owners of the property, the Irish Heritage Trust are committed to preserving its rich built heritage and the delicate ecosystems that coexist within and around it.

Our recent reroofing project at Fota House exemplifies this commitment by balancing the functional needs of the house with environmental sustainability considerations. We detailed in an earlier post the extensive environmental monitoring that took place before these essential roof work began. Having established the presence of a Brown Long-eared Bat maternity roost in the attic and upper floor of the main house, the colony became part of our project plans.

The potential for impact to the bats was considered and mitigation measures were put in place. This included scheduling building works outside the maternity season to minimise impacts on the maternity roost.

Successful Mitigation Measures

We collaborated with O’Donnell Environmental to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures for the bat colony during the works. Alternative accommodations were provided in the form of bat boxes adjacent at the property.

Once the bats were successfully rehoused, the roofing project got underway.

Again the bats were considered as the project progressed and bat safe measures were incorporated including membranes and tiles to facilitate easy access to their previous habitat.

We’re now delighted to report that these measures have proved successful. As roof works near completion our monitoring activity shows the bats are back!

A Sustainable Future for Our Past and Our Planet

Not just a homecoming, their return is hugely important to our overall environmental sustainability management at Fota House. It is just one story in the work being done across our special heritage places to preserve biodiversity and we acknowledge the contribution of everyone involved.

Environmental Consultants O’Donnell Environmental

Roof Project Architects JCA Architects

Project Funding Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Construction Summerhill Construction

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