There are estimated to be more than 15 million gardens in the UK, covering an area greater than all of the UK’s nature reserves combined. Our gardens and public green spaces are vitally important habitats for wildlife, including bats.
The UK is home to 18 species of bat, the largest being the noctule which weighs the same as four £1 coins, and the smallest is the pipistrelle, which weighs as little as a 2p coin. This diminutive bat has a giant appetite, however – it is known to gobble up more than 500 insects in an hour!
Installing a bat box will help local bats, encouraging them to move into areas that have limited roosting space. All our bats are insect-eaters, so having a few flitting around might just make those evenings in the garden a little less buggy!
Pipistrelle bat - Credit Lee Wright
What you need:
• Untreated rough sawn timber
• Rubber flap
• Tape measure and pencil
Follow these extra tips:
- A ‘bat ladder’ or other landing area leads to an entry slit wide enough to admit bats, but narrow enough to keep out predators, usually 15-20 mm.
- Make sure joints are well sealed and avoid large, loose-fitting front panels – bats hate draughts.
- Do not open the box once it is installed.
All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them. Once up, a bat box cannot be opened legally without a licence. For more information on bats and the law call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228