Greenway boathouse project

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Work has recently started on the boathouse at Greenway. Our major fundraising efforts in 2012 were in order to support this project, which has four stages, focusing not only on the conservation and appearance of the building, but on supporting bat life in the loft space. The plan is to keep the boathouse open as much as possible, so if you're visit over the next few months, make sure you pop down to see the work in action. This is what will be happening...

Stage one - bats in the loft

Stage one is underway and has involved removing the breathable membrane in the loft space of the boathouse. This material has a tendency to fray and if this happens a bat is likely to be caught in the material. A ‘hot box’ will be going in to the loft in order to create an environment conducive to the maternity roost. The box will generate hot air which will be trapped near to the ridge beam. The bats require a temperature of between 30-40 degrees even in the summer, critical for the well-being of the young when they are born around mid June.

The location is also a greater horseshoe bat mating roost so should you hear strange noises in August this will be the male bats attracting their mates - the most vocal of the bat world is known to attract the most females. As well as this, stage one will also involve repairing and strengthening the staircase and removing the old kitchen units. The final part of this phase is to replace the doors to the loft space, returning the original tapestries to cover the doors when the work is complete.

Stage two - redecorating

This will involve re-plastering and re-decorating the internal walls and re-furnishing the upper floor.

Stage three - the plunge pool

This stage focuses on the repair of the lower plunge pool. This pool in the lower section of the boathouse was used for Greenway residents to 'take the waters,' which became fashionable when George III began bathing at Weymouth in the late 18th century. To get the full benefit, the bathing water needed to be salt water. The plunge pool had a clever mechanism which only allowed salt water in, filtering it in from the River Dart at high tide.

Stage four - the boathouse

Stage four is the re-interpretation of the boathouse. Plans for this will coincide with stage two and the future visioning for Greenway, which will integrate the story of the boathouse with the wider story of Greenway.