...but I am a Bat-FAN!
Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and they play an important role for the environment. Some plants depend on bats to pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds, while other bats also help control pests by eating insects.
Today, with help from 3 Nature's Racers, we've been putting up our new Bat box from Wildlife World. Based on the instructions provided we've elected to mount it on the south east facing side of our well established Beech tree, with a clear flight path for easy access.
In the UK, bat numbers have declined significantly in recent years due to threats from loss of habitat, deforestation, reduced insect populations, new building work and the extension of our urban environments.
Bats struggle with the artificial light sources we use for street lighting and the chemicals we use in our homes. Bats are nocturnal animals and changes in natural lighting can confuse them and lead them not to be sure when it's safest to emerge from their roosts. Chemicals in building materials, pesticide sprays, fly papers, and cleaning products can all be dangerous to Bats and the food they rely on.
Other things you can do in your garden to help Bats (and other wildlife) include -
- Letting an area go wild (See We are the Ark for more great ideas on this)
- Add a pond
- Create hedgerows or lines of trees for them to follow
- Reduce or remove artificial lighting
- Attract insects that come out at night (Seeds available from Wildlife World)
Whilst installing our Bat box today, we were delighted to spot some visitors returning to our pond. This common frog was one of 2 frogs we saw today, but judging by all the noise we heard overnight, we suspect many more might be in the area!
Please be aware of the law regarding Bats as all UK Bats, and their roosts are now protected by both UK and international law. If you add a bat box yourselves, and are lucky enough to attract some roosting bats to your garden, DO NOT disturb or move the box without seeking expert advise from a professional -
You can find just about everything you could ever want to know about Bats via the Bat Conservation Trust website - www.bats.org.uk