Bats

Bats are amazing and are the only true flying mammal. Did you know that in the UK, bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species?  If an environment is healthy, then bat populations are healthy. Unfortunately, the impact of humans has generally been negative on bat populations, but they can be supported by us too. 

 

In the UK, bat populations have declined considerably over the last century. They are still threatened because they lose roosts through building and development work, and their food supply can be negatively affected by loss of habitat.  Lighting at night near where they roost or fly can affect them. They are also attacked by cats, can be caught in flypaper, and can be affected by some chemicals in building materials.

What's happening to bats in Maidenhead?

The situation in the Wild Maidenhead area reflects the national situation, which is one of overall decline. This page sets out the status of the many types of bat still found, or no longer found, in Berkshire. 

 

There is an active local bat group, see www.berksbats.org.uk, who support bats in the area, including putting up and monitoring bat boxes in two National Trust areas: the Brick and Tile Works and the Thicket.

What can I do?

There's a lot you can do to help support bats:

  • Grow night-scented flowers in gardens and parks

  • Put in a pond

  • Have a wild area in part of your garden

  • ​Put up a bat box, see this simple home-made box or a durable commercial option; the Schwegler 1FF from here or here is recommended by our local bat expert as a good general purpose box

  • Create linear features such as hedgerows or treelines which help bats to navigate

  • Reduce or remove artificial light at night

  • Keep cats indoors

There is a huge amount of information at www.bats.org.uk, the Bat Conservation Trust. 

If you see bats, could you report it on our sightings page please? We will pass on any sightings to Bats in Berks. 

Please remember that bats and bat roosts are protected by law in  Britain by both domestic and international legislation. This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you:

  1. Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat.

  2. Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats.

  3. Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time).

  4. Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat.

  5. Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost.

If you find an injured or grounded bat, or if a cat brings one in, then please see http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/help.html for detailed help or call 0345 1300 228 which is the national bat helpline. 

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© 2019 by Wild Maidenhead