The installation of the new bat hotel is a part of the organisation’s commitment to supporting wildlife and biodiversity. Working in collaboration with the Trust, British Gypsum has also installed a bat box and four bat bricks at their head office, based in nearby East Leake. The project follows the installation of several bat boxes in Bunny Old Wood [West], which used to be owned by British Gypsum before the company donated the nature preserve to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in 1985.
Can you help British Gypsum to name their new bat hotel?
An ancient woodland referred to in the Domesday Book, Bunny Old Wood was likely to have been used by Saxon settlers as a source of wood. It is located in the village of the same name, close to the British Gypsum Head Office. Therefore, it is fitting for the organisation to encourage bats to make their home in the woods and the surrounding area - as their natural habitat, bats in Bunny Old Wood would have been a typical sight in ancient times.
Keen to protect wildlife and support the work of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, British Gypsum has to date invested in a number of wildlife habitats. The company has so far supported birds, bees, butterflies – and now bats.
To welcome the new arrivals to Bunny Old Wood, British Gypsum and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are asking the public to name the new bat hotel. The winner will see a plaque next to the hotel featuring their name, which visitors can spot when walking in the woods.
Matt Pullen, Managing Director at British Gypsum, said, “We love working with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and we are excited to welcome bats into the British Gypsum family. We really value the relationship we have with the Trust, and we look forward to working with them to discover new ways to preserve habitats and encourage wildlife on our land”.
He continued: “We have supported the Trust for many years - financially and through land donations, including Bunny Old Wood - and we are keen to do more.”
Although a protected species, many companies might see bats as a nuisance, but not British Gypsum. By welcoming wildlife onto their land, the organisation is enhancing their business premises, and as a nature recovery network strategy, it works well for both British Gypsum and the Trust. The company has taken advice from the Trust on how to encourage wildflowers on their land to help encourage pollination and provide food for many species – including bats.
Leading by example, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has enhanced Bunny Old Wood. Chris Kennedy, Reserve Manager (South), said: “We have a local warden who does a lot of work within the woodland, and together we have completed a fair amount of woodland management to encourage woodland flowers on the site, including strimming and racking back to encourage wildflowers and rare plants including orchids.”
Chris continued: “We also ensure the site is safe for visitors, so we regularly review it for tree safety, coppicing and footpath work to enable people to explore and enjoy an ancient woodland as it should be.”
Speaking on behalf of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Emily Patrick, Business Partnership Officer, said: “It’s been fantastic working in partnership with British Gypsum to bring the bat hotel to life at Bunny Old Wood. Collaborating in this way supports nature’s recovery, by linking up important habitats that enable these incredible animals to thrive. Engaging with the local community to name the hotel is a great way to get people involved and hopefully learn something new about this protected species.”
How to name the bat hotel
The closing date for the competition will be Friday 15th October at 5pm. Please see the website for full terms and conditions.