Warwickshire's bats

Of the 18 species of bat found in the British Isles, 14 have been recorded in Warwickshire.

Download a pdf copy of "Focus On Bats" (661Kb) which is a general introduction to bats and their life styles. It also gives conservation advice about how to manage their colonies in buildings and other roost places.

Six species of bats are used as an "indicator species" to measure how UK wildlife is faring. The six species are Daubenton's, Noctule, Lesser Horseshoe, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Serotine. The bat indicators are compiled by the Bat Conservation Trust using data collected annually from the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP).

In addition to taking part in the NBMP, we assisted Warwickshire County Council with the Warwickshire Barbastelle Bat Project.

where to see bats

streetlamp at nightOn fine summer nights bats start leaving their day roosts around dusk. This is often the best time to try and spot their silhouettes against the sky before it gets too dark.

Flying uses up a lot of energy so bats need to catch plenty of insects to stay healthy; a tiny Pipistrelle may eat up to 3,000 insects in one night! So, the best places to look for bats is where insects gather at night - around woodland, hedgerows, rivers, ponds, lakes, gardens, or even white street lights. 

According to an on-line survey conducted by the Mammal Society in 2000, with 34% of the votes, Pipistrelle bats are collectively the most popular type of bat followed by the Brown/Grey Long-eared bats and then the Greater/Lesser Horseshoes.

In the summer you could find out about locally organised bat walks (see our Diary page) where "bat detectors" allow you to listen in to the ultrasonic calls of bats as they find their way around in the dark.

bats recorded in Warwickshire
bats in decline

As recently as the 1950's colonies of thousands of bats could be seen but today even our most common bat, the Pipistrelle, appears to have suffered serious decline. It is thought to be the result of many factors:

  • Timber treatment with toxic chemicals used in lofts can be fatal to bats
  • Roost sites are lost due to vandalism, blocking of access holes, mine capping and tree felling
  • General habitat destruction
  • Changes in agricultural practices reducing the number and variety of insects
bats and the law

Under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, bats have become amongst the most protected animals in Britain. The Act makes is illegal to intentionally kill, injure or disturb a bat, or to damage or obstruct access to any place that a bat uses for shelter. See our pages on bats and the law.