BATS ARE BRILLIANT, they are a vital part of our natural world and like many species, they need all the help we can offer them. Bats and their roosts are protected under UK and European law and the noctule bat is one of Wild Marlow’s chosen species.
So what does a bat do then?
Globally, bats are crucial in ecosystems by pollinating flowers, dispersing seeds, eating pests and can act as biodiversity indicator species helping us understand the health of our environment. They play a vital role in our ecosystems whereby they take the place of birds at night and help control insects that might otherwise bite us or harm crops and possibly livestock. They are an important natural predator and pest controller and cool to watch at dusk!
There are 18 species of bats in the UK, 17 known to be breeding. Using echolocation they will feed at dusk in flight on mosquitoes, moths, midges and other flies, mayflies, some beetles, caddis flies, lacewings and other nocturnal insects.
Like many species, bats are declining and need our help, so here is how:
INCREASE THEIR FOOD SUPPLY - Ponds and compost heaps are great at breeding the kinds of insects that bats like. Growing flowers that are white and pale are more likely to be seen by nocturnal insects, more food to attract bats to your garden.
Some flowers for planting consideration could be:
SITE A BAT BOX FOR THEM TO ROOST IN
Bat boxes are artificial roosts for bats to shelter in during the day. With the loss of natural roosting habitat, these provide essential places for our bats and can be easily made or purchased.
Here is a great video from naturalist Simon King about bats and bat boxes.
How to build a bat box
REDUCE ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING
Artificial lights can confuse bats. They may not leave their roosts to feed or their feeding time is massively reduced. Some species will not feed where artificial lights are present, massively reducing their foraging grounds.
If you are up for helping us build Marlow’s Nature Corridor, PLEDGE today here https://forms.gle/MtnF63K3ohckcCJd9 and help us reach 1000 pledges!