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. It involved 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 essential roof work began. This established the presence of a Brown Long-eared Bat maternity roost in the attic and upper floor of the main house.

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

Successful Mitigation Measures

Our project team 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 rehousing had been successfully carried out, the roofing project got underway. The project incorporated bat-safe membranes and tiles to facilitate easy access for their return.

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 ongoing work being done across our special heritage places to preserve biodiversity.

We acknowledge the contribution of everyone involved in this project.

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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