The Great Barn complex at Basing House, Hampshire, was a stately home in Tudor times but deteriorated during Oliver Cromwell’s civil war. Hampshire County Council wished to convert this historic landmark into a visitors’ centre and museum. Thomson Ecology‘s brief was to conduct a baseline ecological assessment to assess the potential of the buildings to support roosting bats and advise on further steps necessary.
What we did
- On completion of the initial assessment, we reported on the results and potential constraints on the project, and recommended how these could be overcome. This included detailed species surveys.
- Following an award for the redevelopment to Hampshire County Council from the National Lottery Fund, we undertook detailed bat emergence surveys at the barns.
- We identified 33 bat roosts, with seven bat species.
As a result, we prepared and obtained a European Protected Species Development Licence for bats, liaising closely with the project architects to design appropriate mitigation measures to manage risk to the bats during construction and compensation for the loss of roosting opportunities. We supported Hampshire County Council with the renovations, providing toolbox talks to contractors and overseeing construction of mitigation measures including
- new roosting opportunities
- improvement of site conditions to increase roosting opportunities
- installation of bat boxes
- protecting existing roosts.
The renovation works are now complete. Initial monitoring shows that bats are continuing to use the Great Barn and have started to use one of the new roosts.