Mitigation and licensing in Chillington Hall

15 Mar 2021

Chillington Hall- Staffordshire, UK


Ecological Services provided:

  • Bat Licensing
  • Roost Compensation
  • Mitigation Design

The Apex Ecology team has had the pleasure of working on a number of projects for Chillington Hall over the years. This includes the restoration of a planned courtyard of Grade 2* listed farm buildings, between 2008 and 2011. These farm buildings are located to the Northwest of the Hall. 


The History of Chillington Hall


Laid out in the 1720s, Chillington Hall was rebuilt during the 18th and 19th Centuries. The frame buildings incorporate stables, barns, a smithy, a malt house, a granary, and carriage stones. All of which since formed an integral part of life at the Hall. The centrepiece of this beautiful building is a dovecote, which housed over 1000 doves. As well as providing meat, eggs, feathers, and dung for fertiliser or possibly even gunpowder.


Restoration of the building


Deterioration of many of the buildings over the years led to them being placed on the English Heritage’s Register of ‘Buildings at Risk’. However, there was a great commitment from the owners, plus assistance from Natural England under their Agri-Environment Schemes (initially the Countryside Stewardship Scheme). As a result of this, works began to take place, to conserve and restore the buildings at Chillington Hall.


Our Ecological Services- Bat Licensing


Our team carried out extensive surveys of the buildings for bats, in advance of any work taking place. Locating the presence of maternity roosts of both brown long-eared, and Natterer’s. Plus smaller roosts of common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, and whiskered bats. Throughout the project, we worked closely with the project architects and specialist craftspeople to ensure restoration work took place in a way that conserved the bat roosts.

A European Protected Species license was obtained to enable works to the West Range to take place. This involved extensive repair work including roof and timber beam replacement and wall reconstruction.

An education room was installed on the first floor in a former hayloft. Bat access points were created below tiles and in the glazed, metal-framed windows in the form of ‘hoppers’ cleverly designed by the project architect and successfully adopted by bats for flight access. The survey and monitoring work we subsequently undertook showed the reuse of the buildings by bats almost immediately.