What do you do when the little critter, the bat, that’s been your company’s corporate symbol for more than 150 years decides to roost in your vacant buildings? Open the doors and windows and hope they all fly out? Grab a tennis racket and evict them? No, apparently, you call in batwoman to carefully and humanely get the bats out of there.

Caution: Bats in Building
Bats in Building
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Restoration crews working on the redevelopment of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in England found that the empty buildings they thought to be vacant had some very agile, yet shy, nocturnal tenants. The 18th-century, no longer used Georgian and Victorian structures provided the perfect roost for a colony of bats that seemed none-too-prepared to leave. In the English countryside, bats are protected by law and those knowingly disturbing their roosts can be fined or imprisoned.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstroke Mill, England
Bacardi Bombay Sapphire Renovations
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When we did find one (bat) a qualified expert was brought on site to catch it… That bat took flight but, we’re not heartless landlords. Across the site we’ve installed over 20 bat boxes in likely roosting locations. It’s yet another way we make absolutely sure to minimize our impact on this outstanding environment. ~ Will Brix, Bombay Sapphire, Estate Manager

Bat Boxes Installed Around the Distillery
Bacardi Bat Boxes
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Due to the protected nature of bats in England, restoration crews took extra care when re-roofing all of the dilapidated buildings on the Laverstoke Mill property, a stately industrial site once used as a paper mill for the British Empire. Craftsmen turned and lifted each roof slate a certain way to ensure the protection of any little creature on the other side and even called in an expert to help remove bats humanely when they encountered one.

The Laverstoke location in Hampshire is rich in fauna and industrial history, which can be traced back a thousand years. Because of this and its natural splendor, the entire site is government-protected through its SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status. It’s hard to imagine that the peaceful, rural English landscape bustled with industry when one sees the natural stream that runs through the heart of the property.

In the spring and summer, it’s not unusual to see a range of insects such as butterflies and bees fluttering down the River Test, stopping randomly, flower to flower. All around the property, life now buzzes, both inside the recently redone facility and outside, where an abundant amount of wildlife, aside from the bats, can be found including otters, kingfishers, ducks and fish.

While the little bats posed a small complicating factor in the restoration of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Distillery at Laverstoke Mill, in the Bacardi tradition, they also symbolized good fortune and family unity.

History of the Bacardi Bat

The bat had always been a symbol of good fortune, so when Doña Amalia Bacardí spotted fruit bats in the family’s distillery, she insisted it be used as their symbol. Today it remains on the bottle, helping the family survive whatever fate throws at it.

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