Bat cave built in lime kiln on canal bank near Brecon

Dr Mark Robinson, Glandŵr Cymru ecologist Ecologist Mark Robinson inspects the inside of the new bat cave

Related Stories

A former lime kiln near Brecon has been transformed into a home for some of the UK's rarest bats and it appears some have already moved in.

The 19th Century kiln along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal has been restored for the lesser horseshoe bat.

Finishing touches were made to the habitat on Monday when the first bat droppings were found inside.

Twelve kilns along the 49-mile (79km) waterway have been restored but only one will be used for bats.

The lesser horseshoe species has protected status and the creatures live along the canal.

Start Quote

The shape of the kiln is ideal for bat habitat”

End Quote Dr Mark Robinson Glandŵr Cymru

Glandwr Cymru, the Canal and River Trust in Wales, decided to restore the kilns after they had become overgrown and their stonework had started to crumble.

Built in 1803, the kilns produced lime mortar which was used in agriculture and to build nearby towns and villages. The mortar was transported using canal boats.

Joe Coggins of Glandwr Cymru said: "It's taken us about four or five weeks to turn the kiln into a home for the bats.

"We made some finishing touches today and spotted some lesser horseshoe bat droppings, so they could have already moved in.

"The kilns are a unique piece of canal heritage and it's great one is being used for such a worthwhile project."

'Peaceful place'

Dr Mark Robinson, a Glandŵr Cymru ecologist, said the kiln was an ideal habitat for the bats.

"We know lesser horseshoe bats use the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal as an important commuting route and find plenty of food along the way," he said.

"This species has been recorded in a number of rural buildings locally but too often these buildings are being used or are in threat of development, so we want to give the bats a decent, peaceful place to set up home.

"The shape of the kiln is ideal for bat habitat. It has grills which are perfect for bats to fly in and out of, while the stone walling retains enough heat.

"The kilns themselves have a fantastic story behind them and it's great we've had so much support to bring them back into a condition befitting of a piece of national heritage."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Mid Wales

Weather

Aberystwyth

Min. Night 16 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views

Programmes

  • A cargo shipThe Travel Show Watch

    It is not cheap or glamorous - so why are people choosing to travel by cargo ship?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.