Working in collaboration with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the East Leake-based manufacturing company has installed a bat box and four bat bricks at its headquarters, as well as a ‘bat hotel’ in nearby Bunny Old Wood – all part of its commitment to biodiversity.
In 2021, a competition was launched to name the new bat hotel. Out of many entrants, a class at East Leake Day Nursery was announced as the winner. British Gypsum felt the children’s suggestion, ‘The Upside Down Hotel’, was a perfect fit for the project.
Keith Givens, plant manager at British Gypsum’s East Leake site, said ‘We were thrilled with the number of entries we had for the competition. It was great to see how many people got creative and had a go at naming our new hotel. We’re very grateful for everyone’s efforts and it was difficult to choose; however, we felt that East Leake Day Nursery proposed the perfect name, and the fact all the children agreed on it was a bonus!’
British Gypsum has a rich history of commitment to supporting wildlife and biodiversity – its relationship with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust dates all the way back to 1983, when the plaster manufacturer sold Bunny Old Wood to the conservation charity for just one penny.
Bunny Old Wood itself has stood tall since ancient times, and was even mentioned in the Domesday Book. The woodland is renowned for its diverse wildlife, which now extends to the nocturnal winged guests frequenting The Upside Down Hotel.
To conclude the bat hotel’s installation, a new information sign offers fascinating facts about both the wood and the bats expected to frequent the ‘The Upside Down Hotel’, and helps guests and bat enthusiasts alike spot the woodland’s latest addition. So, next time you’re wandering through Bunny Old Wood, keep an eye out for the new sign and see if you can catch a glimpse of the hotel’s residents flying in the wood canopy.
Emily Patrick, Business Partnerships Officer at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said:
‘It’s been a great project to repurpose the structure for wildlife. Bats are incredible mammals and it’s fantastic to be able to provide them with more space to thrive.
“The new signage provides people with information about the bat hotel and its purpose while also providing some interesting information about the bats we hope will frequent the structure.
“It’s fantastic to hear how British Gypsum have involved the local community in naming the hotel, and that the name has come from young people so close by.’