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James Walton, Sheldon Bosley,  Property Professional of the Year 2015,We are delighted to announce that James Walton, Partner at Sheldon Bosley, was the winner of this year’s ‘Property Professional of The Year’ Award for Warwickshire and Coventry.

The awards ceremony took place at the Coventry Ricoh Arena on Thursday 23rd April where James was presented with his award.

The FirstPro winners must be more than simply excellent at their job – they have contributed to the community outside the workplace, supported others and shown an active commitment to the region.

Apparently they also need to possess the intangible x-factor – which James has clearly demonstrated!


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Have a look at what Sheldon Bosley have been up to ……….

“Sheldon Bosley sponsors this years’ Shakespeares 450th Birthday Celebrations”

Sheldon Bosley was very pleased to have been part of this year’s big birthday celebrations, in what was a memorable and enjoyable day. The day started by meeting up and unfurling the allocated flag, followed by joining in with the procession and then on to a marvellous lunch with guest speakers. Thankfully the sun was shining throughout the parade.

birthday cake 450th

Mollington Point-to-Point – Bank Holiday Monday 5th

Sheldon Bosley joined in the fun at this year’s Point to Point at Mollington. The day was a great success and we would like to thank everyone that came and paid us a visit and joined us for a drink and a bite to eat; it was good to see familiar faces and meet with some new ones. All of the support was appreciated.

Point to point 2014

Still to come this year is the Stratford Raft race – 22nd June 2014

This year Sheldon Bosley will be entering a team in to the race where the “Bosley Barge” and its crew are hoping to a) finish the race without sinking and b) raise as much money for the chosen charity this year which is the Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA). Any sponsorship/cheering on would be most welcome! ! If you would like to sponsor Sheldon Bosley, please go to and make your donation.

Sponsor logo

Many thanks in advance

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Additional HousingAdditional Housing

Of late, the current Government has implemented a building spree across the Country, and in short, the relevant District Councils have been instructed to provide additional housing to push the housing stock numbers up and to kick start the economy to try and build our way out of our current recession.

What are the effects of this?

This has two major effects; firstly the obvious, that the construction industry will move forward and generate work and economic stability, promoting industries to produce more goods and give the ability for the Country to start to move out of recession.  Secondly, is that swathes of building estates will sprout up across the Country which may be at the expense of communities.

community 2

Smaller developments such as housing numbers of 15 and below, would be of benefit to smaller towns and village   communities as they would bring families to the community who would use the local services such as shops, pubs, bus routes, schools, churches, village halls, and may in fact give these the ability to re-generate and move forward with the injection of the growth of the community.  In some cases the downside might be that larger settlements that have gained consent for 50 houses and above on the perimeters, will in fact just increase the size of the existing community, but as that community has limited resources to start with may drive the town towards a commuter settlement.

The Government have applied the Localism Bill of late and this is for communities to feed in at the bottom, giving guidance to any new development on how it can be integrated into the local economy.  A District Council would look to the Parish Council for their input to make a better settlement following consent.


Due care and consideration should be given to settlements for the increase of resources such as expansion to schools, expansion to Doctor’s Surgeries and Health Facilities and injection into the community buildings, such as village halls, town halls and libraries that would encourage new residents to integrate with the existing community, by providing the facilities that are adequate for the increase of housing

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Hovel to House

Hovel to House

Following the new release of the additional General Permitted Development Order which came into force on the 6th April 2014, it is now possible to convert an agricultural building to a dwelling and also a shop to a dwelling. This is a big step forward from having to test the market for 6 months to see if there is any other need for the barn other than dwelling prior to putting in a full application to the District Council who would then take a larger criteria to make a decision on giving a consent for a conversion to a dwelling. With the new Development Order in place, you are now required to fill in a General Permitted Development Order and to provide a location plan so the District Council can make their decision.

 Converted property


There are of course restrictions that would prevent a notification being approved. These restrictions include that the building must have been in agricultural use or part of an established agricultural unit prior to the 20th March 2013, if the development would result in an external dimension of the building extending beyond the original dimensions of the building. If the site is an Article 1(5) land, which includes designated areas such as an area of outstanding natural beauty, conservation area, Listed or within the grounds of a Listed Building, on a site of special scientific interest, a safety hazard area, a military explosive storage area or site that contains a scheduled monument.

How big and how many barns can I convert?

The restrictions on numbers and sizes have also been put in place. You may only convert a barn that would result in no more than 450 sq m of floor space within the agricultural unit as a whole. The maximum number on one unit would be three dwellings, the accumulative floor area of these three dwellings, again must not exceed 450 sq m of floor area.

What rights might I lose?

Once a Consent has been granted for a conversion of an agricultural building to a dwelling under the new GPDO, you will not be able to apply for new agricultural buildings via the Agricultural Notification for a period of 10 years. Any application that is submitted within that 10 year period must be for a Full Planning Application.

What might I be expected to provide with my General Permitted Development Order

The District Council will take into consideration five specific areas whilst making their decision and may ask for additional information on these whilst the application is being processed. These being:

  • Transport and highway impact of the development.
  • Noise impact of the development.
  • Contamination risk on site.
  • Flood risk on site.
  • Whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to a use falling within the Class C3 Dwelling House of the Schedule to the Use Class Order.

Will the District Council require any further information once the General Permitted Development Order has been approved?

The District Council will condition any approval with specific details that would be required prior to work commencing on site and these will require discharge and will be known as Pre-commencement Conditions. These conditions could require further highways details, floor plans and elevations of the dwellings, Ecology Surveys, Tree Surveys to name but a few.

However, once a Permitted Development Order has been granted, these will only be hurdles that will require jumping prior to commencing on site, rather than hurdles that require jumping prior to the District Council making a decision.


From our understanding and the understanding of other governing bodies, it would appear that the Permitted Development Order is not restricted to traditional agricultural buildings but would include any agricultural building. Therefore, your Dutch barns and grain stores would be included in the permitted development.

For further enquiries or indeed assessments, please contact Sheldon Bosley for sound reliable guidance on your potential development.

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Before Building work begins

To Tender or not to Tender

When a project has obtained Planning Permission and also Building Regulation Approval, you may immediately seek a builder to start on site as soon as possible in order to get your proposed development under way. However, as the builder has no specification to work from which details the exact fittings and elements that require work, and also the fact that he is not under any competition to price competitively, his fee will usually be inflated at first and continue to escalate once the full scope of the project is apparent.

Get the best price by way of Tender

Situations such as this can be avoided through the means of a tendering process. Sheldon Bosley can Plansprepare a full specification for a project which clearly sets out all elements of work involved and the exact materials and fittings that are required from which a contractor can provide an accurate quotation. We can also send the specification and tender drawings to a number of competent contractors who we trust and have had previous experience with, in order to obtain three or four quotations along with their estimated start date so that the most suitable contractor can be selected.

The process of tendering would first begin with a meeting where we discuss the project at length and the different materials you would like as well as the fittings and fixtures that would be contained within the project. Not everything has to be finalised at this stage as large items such as kitchens we can include as a provisional cost, which can be substituted for the actual cost later on in the project when the actual kitchen is selected. Once you have agreed the finer details of the project, a written specification is prepared along with co-ordinating drawings and sent to the competent contractors thus issuing them with an invitation to tender for the project. We would allow a contractor four weeks typically on a domestic project to provide a quotation, but we would always analyse the size of the project to determine the time allocated for the contractor to tender. Once we have received all of the quotations from all of the contractors we would discuss these tender figures with you and help you to select the most suitable contractor. We would then write to all of the contractors informing them whether or not they have been successful.Pre contract Meeting

Once it has been agreed and the contractor has been informed that he has been successful, it is then common to undertake a Pre-Contract Meeting in preparation for the next stage of the project, which will be to prepare construction contracts in order to begin works on the site shortly thereafter.

Although tendering may seem like an unnecessary expense which adds further delays to a project, in one recent project when Sheldon Bosley tendered out to three competent contractors, the quotations Sheldon Bosley obtained were £30,000 lower than the quotation the client obtained independently, thus showcasing the savings that can be made.

If you feel your project could benefit from saving money by undertaking a tender process, then please do not hesitate to contact Sheldon Bosley who can discuss the ins and outs of the project with you.

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CDM Regulations


CDM Regulations were introduced to integrate Health and Safety into the management of projects in order to identify hazards early so they can be eliminated or significantly reduced before work commences on site. The Regulations apply to all projects, but only projects which last for more than 30 working days or involve more than 500 person days are notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and thus incurring additional duties of each duty holder.

The five main duty holders as far as CDM is concerned are: Clients, Designers, Principal Contractors, Contractors, and CDM Co-ordinators. It should be noted that a domestic client has no responsibility under CDM Regulations and a project is deemed domestic if it is planned to be used by the Client or the Client’s family; for any other project, the Client is treated as a commercial Client and has to comply with all of their duties under CDM 2007 which vary in their extensiveness depending on whether or not the project is notifiable.

Non-Notifiable ProjectsCDM Regulations

On non-notifiable projects, there is no CDM Co-ordinator and there is no Principal Contractor.

The Client has a duty to:

  • Check the competency and resources of all the appointees.
  • Ensure there are suitable management arrangements for the project including welfare facilities.
  • Allow sufficient time and resources for all stages.
  • Provide pre-construction information to designers and contractors.

The Designer has a duty to:

  • Ensure that the Client is aware of their duties.
  • Eliminate hazards from the design, and if they cannot be eliminated completely, then reduce the risk during design.
  • Provide information about the remaining risks integrated into the design.

The Contractor’s duties are to:

  • Check that the client is aware of their duties.
  • Manage, plan and monitor their own work and the work of their employees.
  • Check that their workers are competent.
  • Train their own employees.
  • Provide information to their workers when they require it.
  • Comply with specific requirements in Part 4 of the Regulations.
  • Ensure there are adequate welfare facilities for their workers on site.

Notifiable Projects

Should the project be notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive a host of additional duties are required.

The Client has the additional duties to:

  • Appoint a CDM co-ordinator to advise and assist the client with their duties.
  • Appoint a Principal Contractor.
  • Ensure that no works commence on site until there are suitable welfare facilities and a construction phase plan in place.
  • Provide the CDM co-ordinator with information relating to the Health and Safety file as and when it arises.
  • Retain and provide access to the Health and Safety file.

The Designer has additional duties to

  • Check that a CDM co-ordinator has been appointed for the project.
  • Provide any information needed for the Health and Safety file.

As the project is notifiable the Contractor is known as the Principal Contractor and has additional duties to:

  • Implement a written plan and site rules.
  • Ensure that all sub-contractors are given the relevant parts of the plan.  H&S on site
  • Ensure that suitable welfare facilities are provided and maintained throughout the construction phase.
  • Ensure that all employees and workers have site inductions and any further information and training is undertaken for the work.
  • Liaise with the CDM Co-ordinator regarding ongoing design to eliminate risks.
  • Secure the site.
  • Ensure that HSE has been notified before commencing work on site.
  • Ensure a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed.
  • Provide information for inclusion in the Health and Safety file and report any accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences.

Due to the project being notifiable a CDM Co-ordinator is also required and his duties are to:

  • Advise and assist the client with their duties.
  • Notify the Health and Safety executive that the project is notifiable.
  • Co-ordinate the Health and Safety aspects of the design work and co-operate with all others involved with the project.
  • Facilitate good communication between all parties.
  • Liaise with the Principal Contractor regarding ongoing design.
  • Collect, identify and pass on any pre-construction information.
  • Prepare and update the Health and Safety file.

Pre-Construction Information

One of the primary duties of a Client under CDM Regulations for both non-notifiable and notifiable projects is to provide Pre-Construction Information to designers and contractors. This provides information relevant to the site for those bidding for the work. Appendix 2 of the HSE’s Guide ‘Managing Health and Safety in Construction’ sets out a descriptive list of items that can be used to determine what Pre-construction Information should be obtained when analysing a site.

Construction Phase Plan

The Construction Phase Plan is prepared by the Principal Contractor on notifiable projects and sets out how Health and Safety is to be managed on construction phasesite  during the construction phase. A sensible Construction Phase Plan analyses the Pre-Construction Information and seeks to reduce the risks contained within the Pre-Construction Information by managing each item effectively in relation to Health and Safety matters. The Construction Phase Plan needs to be provided well in advance of works commencing on site so it can be checked for its adequacy by the CDM Co-ordinator who will advise the Client on its appropriateness to the site. Works on site should never commence until a Construction Phase Plan has been approved by the Client.

Health and Safety File

The Health and Safety file can be thought of as how Health and Safety is managed after the works have finished and will include guides for the upkeep and maintenance of the building as well as any residual risks.

If you would like to know more about CDM Co-ordination or have a project that is in the pipeline and will not be procured for yourself or your family, then please do not hesitate to contact Sheldon Bosley who can offer CDM Co-ordination services for your project.

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Tenancy Deposit Protection

Deposit ……….

In England and Wales, if you let your property on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, as a landlord, you must place the tenants moneytenants deposit in one of four government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. A deposit remains the tenant’s money throughout the tenancy and will remain their money until it is proven otherwise. Therefore the preparation prior to the commencement of a tenancy is extremely important. Documentary evidence including dated photographs and written descriptions will provide proof of the condition of a property which then gives a benchmark for any person judging the proposed allocation of the deposit at the end of a tenancy.  Similarly, it is also very important to produce evidence of the condition of the property at the end of a tenancy which will then be used to compare and judge any changes that have occurred.   The tenancy deposit protection schemes have independent adjudicators who will undertake an investigation should a settlement not be agreed between the parties over the deposit. It is therefore very important that the guidelines of the deposit protection scheme used are followed as closely as possible to satisfy their requirements. If the evidence gathered does not satisfy the requirements of the deposit protection scheme, it would be unlikely for a claim by a landlord, or their agent, to be successful.

It pays to be a good Tenant…….

As a tenant, if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property, pay your rent and bills, you should expect to receive your deposit in full at the end of the tenancy.

Landlords are required to follow many other rules when dealing with tenants’deposits which are fairly complex and not straight forward. Here at Sheldon Bosley our property management teams are all fully trained in this area along with all other areas of property management, and as such we are able to take the headache of dealing with such matters away from our landlords. Our landlords are confident that all legislative requirements are followed and that their investment is safe in our hands.

If you would like any assistance with regard to letting your property, please contact Sue Maaz at our Shipston on Stour office on 01608 665473 or Michael Scott at our Stratford upon Avon office on 01789 206760.

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Tenant Claims against Landlord Public Liability insurance Rockets….

Increase in Claims for InjuryInjury

In recent years insurance companies working on behalf of landlords have noticed a steady increase in claims for injury. These claims include incidents such as slips, trips or falls by tenants, that have happened on landlords property. In many cases the landlords have been found to be responsible and although unavoidable, such incidents can prove very costly to landlords, especially if they do not hold public Liability Insurance.   Many claims are also related to guests of the tenant, so visitors to the property are also able to put in a claim should an accident occur. It has also been noted that many of these claims are put forward by young people, as they tend to be more aware of their rights in such cases. This results in the claims being fairly high, due to the length of time they would continue to live with the problem that has been caused by the accident, and in many instances can escalate into several millions.

Many landlords are not aware of how important Public Liability Insurance is when letting their properties. Home owners would normally have public liability insurance as part of their household contents cover, however for landlords it is necessary to check that their insurance cover includes this, as under normal circumstances the tenant would take out contents insurance.

Public Liability Insurance would cover any damages which might be awarded to the claimant, but also the legal costs of defending the claim and the claimant’s legal costs if the landlord is found to be at fault.

There is currently a case being handled by Total Landlord Insurance where a visitor to the property, not the tenant, fell from a set of stairs and claimed that the stairs were not ‘fit for purpose’. The case is on-going but as the claimant is of a young age the costs are likely to be for several millions if successful.public liability

It is not always best to save money by cutting corners, but unfortunately a lot of landlords are in this position. I find myself stressing the need to have such cover on many occasions when advising landlords and it worries me how few landlords believe they need it.

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Becoming a New Landlord?

Property to Let

painterHow Do I prepare My Property for Letting?

This is a question asked by many new landlords when I first meet them. When planning a refurb, or merely preparing a property ready for the open market, it is difficult to find the right level to aim for.  How you present a property largely affects and influences the type of tenant that takes it.  If the property is scruffy or grubby you will normally find that the ‘fussy’ tenants discount it completely.  You will therefore end up with tenants that are not so fussy about their surroundings, which is not ideal.  You may have heard of the saying ‘scruffy property, scruffy tenants’.  On the other hand if a property is in good order, with up to date fittings and presented in a clean condition, then you will find it will appeal to the more fussy tenants.  These are the tenants you want as they will end up looking after your investment in a much better manner.  Tenants also do tend to stay longer if the property is comfortable to live in.

Don’t over-do your propertykitchen

Many landlords also make the mistake of over-doing their property.  It is key to make sure a refurb is planned in line with the type of property and with consideration to the typical group of potential tenants it would appeal to.  For example, a two bedroom maisonette in the centre of town is likely to appeal to a young couple or single occupant.  This does not need a high end finish. A mid range finish will suffice in this instance.  If you were renovating a large detached family home, the expected finish would be for a higher standard and specification and this would be appropriate to the market you would be aiming for, typically a professional couple with children. It is also important to ensure the fittings you install are of a good standard, as cheap fittings never last. You need something that is fit for purpose and will withstand wear and tear.

I see many landlords getting this wrong and we can help with any level of advice you may require, even down to managing the entire project for you.  For assistance please call Sue on 01608 665473 or Michael on 01789 206760.

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Advantages of Contract Administration (The Hidden Extras)

Contract Administration

Contract administration has always been an important part of any construction project but has been neglected over the years, and the recent economic decline has brought contract administration under project management to the forefront once again. In the past, small extensions may have been undertaken by local builders for the private client, for a word of mouth sum, of which as the project proceeded hidden extras appeared and the contract cost would inevitably end up 30 or 40% more than the original quotation. Now that we are in the current economic downturn, the general man on the street is more cautious when proceeding with building works and investing his hard earned money. Controlled contract administration on site, as detailed below, will help stop these hidden extras from occurring.

Following the selection of a competent Builder with a winning tender, the project will proceed and will be based on a contract specific to the construction industry, the more common of which is a JCT Contract.

The JCT Contract


The JCT Contract is a formal document that sets out the works that have been quoted for. This includes all of the specific detailing, the pricing, how the contract will be paid for at specific points, and that requests for payments from contractors will be valued by a professional, checked against the original tender and verified as acceptable before any payment is authorised. This in effect will stop the contractor taking money up front.

On each interim payment there will be an Interim Payment Certificate given, verifying that the payment can be made and stating a retention of that payment, that will be paid partly at the end of the project and partly six months following the end of the project to ensure there are not any defects that require to be put right. If these defects are not put right within that period, the remaining payment will be retained by the client.

Hidden Extras…………..

We all know about the inevitable list that appears at the end of the contract, that the contractor may surprise you with, which lists all the additional extras that were not quoted for, but have been done and the contractor now wants paying for. Sometimes these extras can add up to large sums of money which have not been budgeted for, that the client has not been made aware of and was unaware that they were going to be invoiced additionally for. If the work is being undertaken under a JCT contract this can be avoided as any additional works that are requested by the client or that are required by the contractor due to unforeseen circumstances must be firstly quoted for by the contractor, verified by the contract administrator, and signed off by the contract administrator and the client, as an acceptable quotation to undertake that additional works. If that additional works is not signed off, then it will not be paid for, and this will be at the expense of the contractor.

At the end of the project, the retention that has been taken from each payment will be partly paid back to the contractor for completing the project. We then enter into a six month period – the rectification period where if any of the contractor’s works is defective and requires to be finished, the contractor will be notified and requested to come and put the defect in good order. On the satisfaction of these works the remaining percentage of the retained money will be given to the contractor. If the contractor neglects the additional works, and does not rectify any defects in that period then the retained money will not be paid to him, and will be used to pay another contractor to put these in good order.Contract

When setting out on any construction project it is always advisable on any size of scheme to have a contract in place to protect you and the contractor in terms of payment and additional costs.

Don’t be caught out with the hidden extras.


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Woodlands Farm is managed under a Higher Level Stewardship Agreement (HLS), administered by Natural England.

The scheme encourages landowners and farmers to maintain and improve biodiversity and habitats on their land to increase wildlife species and habitats which may be at risk.

Woodlands Farm is located in an area targeted to reverse the decline in farmland birds, including grey partridge; yellow hammer; linnet; lapwing; turtle dove; tree sparrow and yellow wagtail.

Woodlands Farm is also participating in the The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project.

Learn more about how Woodlands Farm is helping your countryside, and how you can help wildlife in the area …..


Woodlands Farm is providing important nesting,   winter and summer feed for farmland birds ……

Wild Bird Seed Mix

These areas of seed bearing crops in arable fields are managed to provide a sustained source of food during winter months for targeted wild birds of  Yellowhammer, Linnet and Tree Sparrow.

Crops include: linseed, kale, quinoa, millet, triticale, barley, gold of pleasure, fodder radish or mustard.

In addition, Woodlands Farm is supplementary feeding birds on hard tracks across the farm with a mix of grain and seeds – twice a week throughout the winter.

Pollen and Nectar Mixes

Margins and field corners are enriched with flowering plants to provide excellent habitats and food sources for butterflies and bumblebees.

Floristically Enhanced Margins

Field corners and grass margins are sown with floristically enhanced mixes to provide a variety of flowers and plants to create habitats and summer feed for insects, wild birds and brown hare.

Overwinter Stubble

Following summer harvest, some fields are left as stubble through the winter to provide excellent winter habitats and food for farmland birds.  These areas are rotated around Woodlands Farm each winter.

Skylark Plots

In the middle of arable fields Woodlands Farm has left un-drilled areas, larger than 16m2 to provide a safe habitat for Skylarks to nest, away from predators.

Plan of Woodlands Farm showing the HLS management areas in yellow, and public footpaths in purple:

Woodlands Map

Hedgerows provide excellent habitats for birds, bats and wildlife, and act as “corridors” between habitats such as woodlands, enabling animals and birds to travel safely. Woodlands Farm manages all hedgerows on two or three yearly cutting cycles to maintain the benefit for wildlife.

New hedgerows are being established, and other hedgerows are being restored through traditional ‘cutting and laying’ management.


Barbastelle bats are a rare species, most commonly found in the south of England but also here in South Warwickshire. The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project was a 2.5 year conservation project funded by the SITA Trust and lead by Warwickshire County Council, in partnership with Warwickshire Bat Group.

Between September 2011 and April 2014 the project involved catching and tagging 11 barbastelle bats (under a Natural England licence. The bats were radiotracked by teams of volunteers to identify new roost sites and key feeding areas, and to understand more about their ecology.


The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project has provided over 700m of native hedgerows to Woodlands Farm, planted by over 25 volunteers, to improve connectivity between roost nests and feeding sites, and along with ten bespoke bat boxes to provide new roosting sites for the barbastelles.

How can you help your countryside

For the benefits of the Stewardship Scheme at Woodlands Farm to be effective, everybody who walks or enjoys the farm must be involved:

· Keep to the designated footpaths

· Keep your dog under control at all times

· Do not let your dogs into the margins, or areas of wild bird seed or pollen and nectar —these are for the benefit of ground nesting birds and to provide safe habitats

· Pick up any litter

· Enjoy the countryside but do not disturb it

· Take only photographs, leave only footprints

For more information on the HLS agreement at Woodlands Farm, or information on conservation in the countryside, visit:

Thanks go to:

  • Natural EnglandHabitat

  • The Warwickshire Barbastelle Project.

  • Sheldon Bosley Chartered Surveyors