Thursday was the day for starting to strip the roof under the supervision of Becci – our friendly ecologist, or BatWoman.

It was a glorious sunny day and when Becci arrived the first job was to fit the bat boxes with the assistance of Tom, (not Tom the dog I hasten to add by Tom one of the people undertaking the initial soft strip of the inside of the house),

The Bat boxes look like oversized bird boxes but are much heavier, made of concrete, and have a small entrance at the bottom. We decided to site them by the tree house – which greatly facilitated the fixing process as we could use the platform to reach the tree.

Becci and Tom selecting the correct location for fitting the Bat boxes.
Bat boxes in situ

Tom soon found the quick way down from the tree house.

Once the boxes were in place the team assembled the scaffolding tower, under the watchful supervision of Phil Higgins the H in HM construction the company we have appointed as the main contractors for the job:

Becci then gave the team a briefing. Explaining why Bats are protected, what the legislation protecting Bats meant for the work of the team and how to undertake the roof stripping. All the team then had to sign the Bat License to confirm that they understood their responsibilities under the Act.

The team then commenced stripping the roof in the areas which had been identified by the Bat team as potential roosting areas for bats. This involved removing each roof tile in turn and carefully turning it over to see if a bat was clinging to the back. It was evident from the presence and distribution of bat droppings that bats had been using the roof for roosting in the areas that we explored. However no actual bats were revealed. We surmise that they had either decided to roost elsewhere due to the noise of the works going on inside the house; or, more likely, had moved onto their Autumn/Winter roosting locations.

Roof stripped
Lots of bat droppings but no bats

Everyone was disappointed that we did not reveal a single bat, but Becci left satisfied that the team knew what to do if they subsequently found one when stripping other areas of the roof.

Whilst waiting for the stripping to start I took a few more photos of the outside of the house. Now bare of the various plants that were covering it the house does look somewhat tired and neglected.

What is good however is that quite a lot of the materials and objects being stripped out of the house have found new homes amongst friends and acquaintances, including such items as the square toilet seat that someone was desperately looking for; the pretty door knobs from the kitchen cupboards; curtain rails and banisters. I was particularly pleased that some of the sinks and shower fittings were taken by Carys the resourceful and enterprising daughter of a friend who is single handedly converting a set of out-buildings into delightful holiday homes. You can see some of her work here:

She has also written a brilliant children’s book with fabulous illustrations which will be published in October and I will provide a link to it once released; great for filling those Christmas Stockings no matter what age the recipient.


  1. Quite a project you have bitten off but looks exciting. Never gave a whole lot of thought to bat protection but I will now. I am devastated however to have missed out on the square toilet seat. Have been looking for just that item for ages. Such a treasure that I’m surprise you parted with it.

  2. Who would have thought such small creatures could cause so much havoc. Look forward to some bat watching in the garden when you move in! Thanks for plugging Carys’s endeavours, think you’ll love the new space when it’s finished xx

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