How to Attract Bats to your Garden
Bats in Britain are sadly in decline, due to loss of habitat and food. But you can help by providing somewhere for bats to roost at night and by planting the right flowers in your garden to attract insects and moths. Simon King talks you through the best Bat Boxes to buy, and how and where to put them up.
The more we can do for bats with regards to habitat, the more we can stem their current decline in the UK. This can be from the point of view of providing habitat for roosting and for feeding.
Summer is peak time for bat activity in the UK. In the early summer many of the females will give birth to a single pup, these will then mature, and then in late summer/early autumn the bats will be mating again visiting different roosts. All this, before hibernating over the winter months.
So let’s talk about how to choose the right bat box, where to put it and how to look after bats to encourage more of our furry friends into your garden to roost and nest.
Bat Boxes – where to position and different styles
Bat boxes are available in many forms, there’s single chamber bat boxes such as our Chavenage bat box (as featured in the video). These can provide roosting for Pipistrelle (our smallest species in the UK), Serotine, Noctule and Leisler’s bats. It is best to position these:
- On a wall or a tree
- At least 2 metres above the ground
- South facing or somewhere relatively warm
Other styles of bat box have narrower chambers which allow up to 20 bats to squeeze up into each slot. This Conservation Bat Box could host upwards of 40 bats.
Or for internal roosting our own design of bat rack is made to go into roof spaces between beams. This gives bats somewhere good to hang onto.
Once your bat box is up, it’s illegal to inspect it or disturb the bats without a license, so how do you know if you’ve got bats in your bat box? Well, you can look underneath or on the slats for evidence of bat droppings. Or, keep an eye out at dusk to see if they’re flying out. You could even invest in a bat detector to listen out for the ultrasonic sounds of a bat call which we can’t normally hear with the human ear.
Bat feeding habitats
All bats in the UK are insectivorous and so their success is tied to the availability of bugs. So in terms of food, adding flowers into your that cater for night flying insects is a great way to help the insects that are so critical for bats to feed on. Species such as:
- Evening Primrose
- Sweet Rocket
are all a great idea to encourage moths which are so important for food for bats. See out Native Wildflower Seeds for bats.
For more information on looking after bats head over to the Bat Conservation Trust.
The Chavenage Bat Box is a single chamber quality nesting box for bats. These protected mammals have lost many roosts in recent years. This natural timber Bat Box will provide a roost for a variety ...
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