Monday, 13 October 2014

‘Batsworth House’ in New Conservation Scheme at Chatsworth

A new conservation project at Chatsworth has seen it dubbed ‘Batsworth House’ as it aims to protect and restore the local habitat of hundreds of bats including endangered species.

The ‘Batsworth’ nickname came from conservation team at the Derbyshire estate of the Duke of Devonshire as they created a new home for the area’s bat colony to reduce the disturbance caused by the reopening of the historic Burntwood Quarry to provide new stone for conservation work on the grade 1 listed Chatsworth House.

Made out of excavated sand stone, the bat house features 4-metre deep cellars and a roof space, which will provide cool rooms for the bats to retreat to in hot or cold weather, along with seven bat boxes placed around the quarry perimeter. ‘Batsworth’ will aid the preservation of the local bat population which includes the Common and Soprano Pipstrille, as well as the Brown Long-Eared, Whiskered, Daubenton and Natterer bat.

Sean Doxey, Head of Special Projects at Chatsworth, said: “We do a lot of conservation work around the estate to keep the landscape and its wildlife in the best possible condition for the many thousands of visitors that come here. The bat house will provide a new home for the hundreds of bats that have made Burntwood Quarry their home in the hundred years or so since it was closed."

The reopened site will have almost 30,000 tonnes of new stone removed from a section of the existing quarry face to support heritage repairs to Chatsworth House, stable block and surrounding buildings. The quarry, which has not been used since the early 1900s, was the original source of the Ashover gritstone used to build Chatsworth in 1687.

The Peak District National Park Authority approved plans to reopen Burntwood Quarry last November after agreeing that small scale quarrying of local stone for use on the nationally important Chatsworth House was in the public interest.

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