Housebuilder builds roost for rare horseshoe bats in Exeter

Ellie Green
Authored by Ellie Green
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 1:16am

Leading Devon housebuilder Barratt David Wilson Homes has built a custom-designed bat roost alongside the new homes on its new development outside Exeter.

Specifically designed to encourage up to five species of bat, including the very rare greater and lesser horseshoe bats, the roosting barn at Victoria Heights, on the outskirts of Alphington is now ready for habitation. The show homes for this brand new community have also just opened for viewings and several homes have already been reserved, with the first sales expected to complete next month.

Created in consultation with ecology specialists, the large wooden bat roost with pitched roof has been developed as the ideal home for a range of bats that and are known to roost in this part of Devon such as pipistrelle, long-eared and Natterer's bat as well as the very rare greater horseshoe bat who's European northern stronghold in the UK is Devon.

Whist the ecology team has been creating the haven for bats, work has been moving apace on the 160 new, two, three and four bedroomed homes at Victoria Heights and the new show homes are now open for viewing appointments. 

Ideally located on the outskirts of Exeter, but close to the glorious Devon countryside and beaches of Exmouth and Dawlish, Victoria Heights offers the perfect mix of town and country living that many buyers are now looking for.

The bat roost has been designed and built to offer the ideal habitat for all species of bat to navigate their way to feeding grounds in the area. The large size of the roost and its entrance are designed specifically for the for the UK's largest and rarest bat, the greater horseshoe, which have to fly to their roost. They also like to fly around inside the roost, sampling the light and stretching their wings before flying off to their feeding grounds. All other species can land on their roost's entrance and then crawl inside or will roost in the crevices and gaps in roof tiles and cladding.

The creation of the bat roost is part of Barratt Homes' ongoing commitment to be the nation's leading sustainable housebuilder. Existing hedgerows and trees are at Victoria Heights are also being retained, whilst new landscaped planting, additional trees, and the enhancement of pedestrian and cycle links, will all help to make this a wildlife-friendly site.

Nicki Reid, sales director for Barratt Homes Exeter said: "We are privileged to have these rare and beautiful bats roosting in this area and so we are very much hoping they take to this new expertly designed home. With so many of us appreciating nature more now than ever before, we're confident people moving into the new homes here at Victoria Heights will love having bats as neighbours. With the show homes now open, people can book an appointment to explore this new community for themselves. The bat roost is just part of an ongoing drive to ensure all our new communities protect and enhance biodiversity and create a green and sustainable environment which we know is important to our buyers."

Louise Woolley ecologist at GE Consulting who has designed the bat roost said:"This bat roost has been carefully designed to provide enough space for the rare, but locally roosting horseshoe bats to fly in and out. It is large enough for them to fly around inside, light sampling and stretching their wings before they go out into the night to feed.  There are also  many other crevices including underneath roof slates and in the cladding with access points for other bat species to all co-habit within one building.  We are incredibly lucky to have so many species of bat around Victoria Heights, particularly the very rare greater horseshoe bat which is one of the UK's largest native bat species."

To register your interest, find out more or book a virtual or in person appointment, visit or call 0333 3558 491.


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