If you’ve stayed at Alvaston Hall in Cheshire before then the chances are you’ll know all about the work that’s happening at the moment as we make some exciting changes to the estate. If not, there’s more information over on the main site at warnerleisurehotels.co.uk. In short though, we’ve got some fantastic new bedrooms coming, beautiful new landscaping as well as an extension and refurbishment project that will result in sparkling new entertainment areas.
Organising such a huge project is never simple and it’s usually the case that problems come from the most unexpected directions. At Alavston Hall, one of the biggest potential problems came from the sky!
To make room for the new accommodation at Alvaston, one of the estate’s buildings, Grove House, needed to make way. However, when a survey revealed that more than 100 pipistrelle bats were regularly using the building as a roost site, the team at Alvaston had to come up with a plan. Under Regulation 41 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and Section nine of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, all species of bat and their breeding sites or resting places (roosts) are protected.
Pipistrelle bats are the smallest species of bat living in the UK and also the most common. They usually weigh less than a 2p coin and are about the size of a teabag.
Terry Sterling, general manager at Alvaston, said: “We weren’t allowed to take down the house unless we made arrangements to move the bats. They spend the summer in the house and then at some point, we think its October, they go off to a cave for six months before coming back to Alvaston.”
Preparations began in 2012 to make sure the bats also had a sparkling new home to return to this spring. The pipistrelles usually hibernate until the beginning of April and so while they were away from the estate, workmen were busy in the trees around Grove House to provide them with six new roosting boxes – two heated and four unheated. In addition, the new building on the Grove House site has been specially-designed to include bat-friendly crevices.
We’re working hard to keep disruption at Alvaston Hall to a minimum while the project is ongoing and if you’re joining us for a spring break then the team will be ready with a warm welcome as usual! Pay a visit and you’ll be able to see for yourself how the pipistrelle bats are settling into their new home. Of course, we’ll be using the Warner blog, Facebook and Twitter to keep you up-to-date with all the latest news too.