Bats in your garden
Count yourself lucky if you see bats in your garden for these mysterious and much maligned mammals have declined alarmingly in our countryside in recent years.
Bats are at their most abundant in the Tropics and the majority of the world’s 900 species live there. In Britain we have a mere dozen or so breeding species plus a few rare migrants. All our bats are insectivorous, consuming prodigious amounts of flying insects. It has been estimated that a single pipistrelle, our smallest and commonest species, will consume as many as 3,000 insects in a single night.
All Britain’s bats are protected and it is illegal to kill them or to disturb their roosts. Many species like to roost in the roofs of old buildings where they rarely, if ever, cause a problem. Their droppings are dry and soon decompose to powder. If you are concerned about the presence of bats in your property then it is best to ask for advice from your local Bat Group, Wildlife Trust or Natural England.
All Britain’s bats hibernate, usually from the end of October until late March or early April. Some species will make short winter flights, often during the day. Schwegler bat boxes are readily adopted by a number of species, either as summer roosts or nurseries, or for hibernation.