We always knew renovating a house might not end up being a straightforward project, but we never for one moment imagined that we might be asked to call in the Bat Man !
However that’s exactly what Torbay Council planning team asked us to do last week as part of our planning permission application.
Well, it turns out that Brixham – or more accurately, a 400 million year old limestone cave in the famous Berry Head Geopark and nature reserve a couple of miles away from The Captain’s Cottage – is one of only a handful of places in the UK where the Greater Horseshoe Bat roosts and breeds, meaning that any roof-type development in the whole area will be asked to have a “bat survey” before work can be undertake – hence the need to get in a local “Bat man” – aka Ecological Consultant David Wills.
Luckily David discovered no evidence to suggest that bats have ever used the roof of the property as a roost or resting place (an outcome which is hardly surprising as it was converted into an attic room many, many years ago!) but anyway, it’s good to find out that Brixham and it’s surrounding area is not only beautiful, but also home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the whole country.
If you’re visiting Brixham in the summer you can go on evening Bat Walks and see the bats at Berry Head on a Bat Cam as they nest – details available online on the Berry Head website. You can also take part in September’s Bat Festival, or learn more about these fascinating and elusive creatures at the Devon Bat Project
The one place however we can guarantee you absolutely, definitely will not find any Greater Horseshoe Bats is hanging upside down in The Captain’s Cottage – we’ve had The Batman in to check they aren’t any there!