Choosing a bat box
- There are different designs for summer roosting and hibernating. Summer boxes go down best.
- If you buy a bat box, make sure you buy it from a specialist supplier.
- You should be able to find instructions for making a bat box on the internet as there are many local bat groups promoting this information. Make sure the wood is rough enough for the bats to grip and hang.
- It’s important that the wood is untreated. Look for the FSC logo for reassurance that the wood is from a sustainable source.
Siting a bat box
- Height – as high as you can and at least 2m above the ground. You can put it on a tree or a wall, as long as it’s sheltered. But make sure the entrance is accessible.
- Make sure the box is secure but if you’re fixing it to a tree, avoid doing damage by using a strap.
- Once your bat box is in place, leave it alone. Enjoy watching the bats as they fly rather than trying to watch them in their nest. Bats and bat roosts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and it’s an offence to disturb, handle or kill a bat.
Attracting bats to your garden
- Attract bugs - Those all important insects are vital for bats as well as birds. Plant plenty of native species and if possible dig a pond as these help attract insects.
- Attract moths - Bats love moths, so plant some night-scented flowers like evening primrose, which moths are attracted to. Check out our top tips for attracting moths.
- Large grassy areas - The most common species of bat in Britain is the Pipistrelle bat. It hunts mostly in open countryside so large grassy areas will probably be the most popular with them.
- Build a pond - A large pond will help attract the Daubentons bat, a larger species which hunts over water. Check out our page on how to build a pond.
- Plant hedges - Hedgerows and deciduous woodland are popular with Noctule bats. If you live near a wooded area, plant a native hedge to give a good supply of insects and you might find they pop over for supper.
- Places to roost - Bats in the rafters? If you find bats roosting in your roof and you’re concerned about damage, look up your local bat group for advice as bats and their roosts are protected.