Creation of the first of three wooden platforms planned within the LIFE+ Podkowiec Towers project, began at the end of October 2022 in the attic of Ruda nad Moravou castle. The purpose of these platforms is to protect historic beams and ease-up future sweeping of faeces produced by summer colonies of the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) and the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). Such a relatively simple measure will help solve the conflict between the preservation of the historic building and the protection of bats. The castle is not only a cultural heritage, but since 2005, due to the presence of two critically endangered bat species, it has also become a Special Area of Conservation under the Natura 2000 system.
To start the work, it was necessary to wait until bats had left the attic in Autumn. This way bats were not disturbed at the time of rearing their offspring and keep considering the attic safe. The construction of the platform itself was preceded by the cleaning of the accumulated faeces and transporting the necessary material to the attic space.
The new platform was built as a wooden weight-spreading floor above the existing beams. The platform consists of a grid of nonplaned spruce timber covered with planks. To make it easier to disassemble the platform in the future, the boards are not fixed to the grid individually but are assembled in 1 m wide sets. The planks in one set are reinforced on the underside with several battens to prevent their moving when people pass by. Sufficient space between the platform and the floor itself allows free air flow, which prevents excessive accumulation of moisture.
Due to its area of approximately 100 m2, the first platform was created in four stages and was completed at the end of January 2023. The floor will also be covered with a vapor-permeable foil to increase its resistance to the effects of bat faeces, and thus its lifespan.