Bats are remarkable creatures that have long fascinated humans with their unique characteristics and behaviours. Unfortunately, bats face various threats in the UK, including habitat loss, disturbance of roosts, and pesticide use. As their natural habitats diminish, our gardens are increasingly vital in providing bats with essential resources such as food, water, and shelter, establishing them as fascinating creatures that often reside near us.
Is it worth putting up a bat box?
Bat boxes, also known as bat roosting boxes or bat houses, can be a valuable tool in supporting bat conservation efforts. While bats naturally roost in a variety of places, such as tree hollows, caves, and buildings, the installation of bat nest boxes can provide additional roosting opportunities, particularly in areas where suitable natural roosting sites are limited or have been lost due to habitat destruction or urbanisation.
What are the benefits of inviting bats into my garden?
They are arguably the best garden animal to have! For instance, they require no feeding as their diet consists of insects which makes them fantastic pest controllers come midges/mosquito season. Did you know? Britain's most common bat, the Pipistrelles, weighs around 5 grams (same as a 20p piece) and can still eat a whopping 3,000 insects in just one night!
Bats also hold a special place in the ecosystem, playing essential roles in pollination, seed dispersal, and insect control.
How else can I help UK bats?
If you want to take it one step further and be the ultimate wildlife warrior, grab those gardening tools! Planting night-scented flowers will help attract bats' insect prey. Here are some gorgeous flowers to choose from:
- Angel's trumpet
- Hesperis matronalis
- Night phlox
- Star jasmine
Like all wildlife, bats need a trusting source of clean water. So every day, before sunset, be sure to fill up a shallow dish of clean water and place it outside.