If you'd like to find out MORE ABOUT BATS and what you can do to help, visit or call the Bat Helpline: 0845 1300 228

Why Bats

Bats are the only true flying mammal. There are 17 species of bat in Britain, eight having been recorded in Cumbria; Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Brown Long-Eared, Daubenton's, Natterer's, Whiskered, Brandt's and Noctule. Bats have received undeserved bad press in the past, due to superstition, horror stories and misunderstanding due to their nocturnal lifestyles.

Many species of bat across the UK are in serious decline, largely due to the impact of human activities. Bats hunt for insects in woodlands, over meadows, gardens, hedgerows and watercourses. Natural roosts include caves and hollow trees. As mankind changed the landscape, these habitats and the insects they supported, diminished or were lost. Bats struggled to adapt to the change. However, some species have made use of our buildings, roosting in barns, houses, bridges and other man-made structures. Unfortunately, this close relationship can cause its own problems. For example as we renovate, maintain or convert buildings, we can disturb bats or close up the tiny gaps they use to get in and out. They can also be poisoned by the chemicals we use to treat timbers in roof spaces. It is important to get advice before undertaking projects that may harm bats.

  • Bats are highly effective hunters and a single bat can eat over 3000 midges in one night so, without them, summer evenings could be a lot more painful.
  • Bats are thought by North American Indians to be protectors of mankind. This is thought to be the origin of the Batman cartoon superhero.
  • Bats are not blind; they have quite good eyesight, but they "see" in the dark by means of echolocation, which uses high frequency sound and works in a similar way to radar.
  • DNA studies have shown that bats are more closely related to people than to mice.
  • The smallest UK bat is only 4cm long and weighs only 5 grams; that is less than a twenty pence piece.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Bats Action Plan & info Bats Action Plan & info
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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