The boat house with its decorative barge boards and club-shaped roof tiles was built in the 1840s. Early in 2000 it was carefully restored with money from Landfill Tax Credits through the Biff Award scheme and Derbyshire Environmental Trust.
The boat house serves as a roost for several species of bat, including Daubenton's.
Disturbance was kept to a minimum by completing the work when the bats were not in the building. The refurbished boat house was provided with ‘bat bricks’ that ensured that new bat roosts were available for bats to move into.
The whole project has become a model to show how bats can be looked after in a building restoration scheme.