Barratt and David Wilson Homes reveal how to get bats to hang out in your garden.
Bats a fact
Bats, often misunderstood creatures, make up more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of those worldwide.
There are over 1,400 species in total, according to the Bat Conservation Trust.
Supporting their homes
David Wilson Homes East Midlands and Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Midlands have installed homes for bats across their developments in the county.
The initiative is part of their efforts to support the local ecosystem with new habitats for wildlife.
Rachael Harrison, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes East Midlands, said: “It’s important we provide homes for wildlife as well as people and bats are certainly no exception.
"This is why our newest developments now have bat boxes installed to welcome our nocturnal neighbours.”
To support the preservation of the winged wonders, Barratt and David Wilson Homes have provided the following tips for creating a thriving and undisturbed habitat in gardens:
Gardens are a vital source of food, water and shelter for bats.
It's important to ensure they are regular visitors, bats need a diversity of flowers including night-scented ones such as evening primrose, moonflower and honeysuckle.
Linear features including hedgerows and tree lines are also appealing to bats, not only as a navigational aid but for potential feeding perches and roosting spots.
DIY Bat Boxes
Whilst bat boxes are available to purchase, it’s quite simple to build one to provide a homemade habitat for the nocturnal neighbours.
Any timber used should be rough sawn and untreated due to bats’ sensitivity to chemicals and, once installed, a bat box cannot be opened legally without a license.
Darkness is bliss
Avoiding the use of artificial lighting is essential for bats, other wildlife, people and the planet. Many bat species avoid artificial light.
As nocturnal mammals, they have adapted to the life in darkness, which is partly to avoid being hunted by birds of prey such as sparrowhawks during the day.
Artificial lighting on or nearby a bat roost can be detrimental in a number of ways including the delay or prevention of bats emerging from their roosts, which affects their foraging time.
Similarly, it has an impact on their feeding behaviour as they can miss out on slower-flying prey which avoid well-lit areas.
The increased lighting can also force a bat to abandon, or even become entombed, in their roost.
Keep cats away
If you’re a cat owner, it’s important to limit their time outside in the evenings for the benefit of bats and other wildlife.
Cat attacks are one of the most common causes of bat casualties.
Even simple measures such as keeping a cat inside at night, or making sure they’re inside half an hour before sunset until an hour after sunset can make a great difference.
Mid-June to the end of August is the time to keep cats indoors at night as it’s when bats will be looking after their babies.
Send us pictures of your bat boxes.