Endangered bats prioritised during restoration of fake castle in hope to encourage reproduction.

Conservation work on an 18th Century castle has been planned in order to work around the pregnancy of hundreds of endangered bats who call the castle home.

Stainborough castle in Wentworth Castle Gardens, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire is home to four species of bat, one of which in the brown long-eared bat.

The restoration of one of the grade II castle’s turrets, which started earlier in the year, has been scheduled so it doesn’t affect the maternity roosts of the brown long-eared bat species.

Bats are legally protected animals in which means disturbing a roost could be considered a criminal offence by both domestic and international legislation.

Robert Bell, 38, who is the principal ecologist advising the project, said: “Stainborough Castle is used by bats all year round.

“The castle surroundings offer an abundance of eating options and offer the bats lots of different dark and dry places to rest up within.”

He added: “We would risk causing a local decline in the population if they ran out of suitable roost locations.”

The castle has three specialist bat boxes located on site and an ecologist present each day to ensure the animals are not disturbed.

Any roosts within the castle are expected to be kept or re-created to keep the bats living in the castle.

The work is being funded by Barnsley Council who co-run the site with the National Trust and is expected to last five months.

“The castle surroundings offer an abundance of eating options and offer the bats lots of different dark and dry places to rest up within.”

He added: “We would risk causing a local decline in the population if they ran out of suitable roost locations.”

The castle was built in 1708 by Thomas Wentworth to impress his friends and family after a family at a nearby stately home, Wentworth Woodhouse.

It was built to give the impression that it had been in his family for generations, rather than a new addition at the time.

Only one half of the castle front still stands as the other turret was lost when the estate fell into disrepair at the turn of the last century.

 

Written by Harvey Broad

Hi, I'm Harvey and I'm a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. I love football which is unfortunate because I'm an Arsenal fan. I enjoy watching and playing all kinds of sport and I'm a big music fan, both playing and listening.

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Written by Harvey Broad

Hi, I'm Harvey and I'm a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. I love football which is unfortunate because I'm an Arsenal fan. I enjoy watching and playing all kinds of sport and I'm a big music fan, both playing and listening.
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