In the UK we host 18 species of bats, most of them are small (with a wingspan of around 20-30cm), and love nesting in trees, buildings, and underground tunnels.
Although some bats are protected by law such as the horseshoe bats, bats in the UK have experienced habitat loss and pesticide use and so it is great to make your garden bat-friendly to encourage their presence throughout the country.
Here are some bats in the UK to look out for:
- Brown long-eared bat: about 8cm in length with big ears (as the name suggests!). The best time to see them is after sunset as they leave their roosts to hunt. They feed primarily on insects, especially larger moth species compared to other bats.
- Common pipistrelle bat: 2nd most common bat in the UK, so you’re likely to see it in your garden. It visits ponds frequently to find their food, which is primarily small insects such as mosquitos and midges.
- Daubenton’s bat: these bats have brown fur and pink face. Like the pipistrelle bat, they usually hunt close to the water as they eat mostly small aquatic insects.
- Noctule bat: this bat has golden-brown fur and lives in trees. They often fly above tree lines, producing a high-pitched chirping call. They have a preference for larger insects such as beetles, large flies, and moths.
- Serotine bat: this is a larger bat, with a paler yellow-brown underside. These are usually the first bat to fly around dusk, making a squeaking sound. They feed on flying insects such as beetles, flies, and mosquitos.
Here are some links about how to encourage bats to your garden: