New Homes for North Wales wildlife
Published: Friday 10th Jan 2014
Written by: The Wales Cottage Holidays Team
In common with self-catering cottages throughout the land, many Wales Cottage Holidays properties are conversions of barns or farm outbuildings. However, before a barn or old building can be converted into a home, a protected species survey needs to be carried out to check for bats, owls and other nesting species. Then if the survey finds more than one bat there is probably a roost - not always popular with holiday visitors!
It’s a legal requirement to protect bio-diversity and bats can only be moved with a licence from Natural Resources Wales. So, with new conversions, concessions have often had to be made with design. Sometimes part of the roof space of a building can be converted into a bat house but, if you’re talking about a roost, it can be easier to erect another building close to the barn. This trend, to attract wildlife away from a property while protecting the creatures’ habitat, is on the increase.
Visitors to Anglesey cottages might spot the odd newly built bat house or owl barn on the island. You’ll find that the discerning house-hunting bat likes a place full of nooks and crannies and lots of holes and slits for access. While owls have different requirements and favour more of a ‘tower’ design. Of course, owners of barn conversions can’t actually be sure that anything will move into the newly erected bat or owl house but they are increasingly open to making every effort to attract them. And Wildlife Trusts Wales welcomes the news that architects and homeowners are looking out for wildlife when planning barn conversions.