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Bat Box advice UK (1 Viewer)

Eos9

Well-known member
I am currently looking to put a bat box up on the side of my house having previously seen one or two in the area.I am not sure what species these may have been but I have also seen a few boxes erected on mature trees nearby.
My question however really regards putting up a single box - am I likely to have success with a single box or in reality to I need to put up several to stand any chance of attracting them ?
Just to add I am located in the South East which may or may not be relevant concerning which species may be about.

Any advice much appreciated.
 

DJRWhittle

Well-known member
Copied from the Bat Conservation Trust's website (bats.org.uk):

Bat boxes are more likely to be used if they are located where bats are known to feed. Ideally, several boxes should be put up facing in different directions on sunny aspects to provide a range of warm conditions. Boxes should be put as high as possible to try and avoid predation from cats on the ground or nearby structures. On buildings, boxes should be placed as close to the eaves as possible. Bats use dark tree lines or hedgerows for navigation, so putting boxes near these features could help bats find the box.
In summary, locate boxes:
  • Where bats are known to feed and navigate (close to hedges and tree lines);
  • Ideally at least 4m above the ground (where safe installation is possible);
  • Away from artificial light sources (to protect them from predation); and
  • Sheltered from strong winds and exposed to the sun for part of the day (usually south, south-east or south-west).
Bats need time to find and explore new homes, and it may be several months or even years before boxes have residents – be patient! Once bats find a place they want to live they can return over and over again. Droppings on the landing area, urine stains around the lower parts of the box and chittering noises from inside on warm afternoons and evenings are signs of occupation.
Please note, as bats are vulnerable to disturbance and fully protected under UK law, boxes must only be opened by a licensed bat worker.

Hope this helps.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
The 'sunny aspects' part deserves emphasis.
Bats operate at a higher body temperature than most mammals, so they like a warm roost in summer.
Here in NYC, the Jamaica Bay NWR has built bat box trails on poles about 8 feet up, presumably successfully.
These boxes are free standing, in sandy shrub-land by the shore, exposed to full sun much of the day. They do get seriously hot.
Of course, how well that might work with British species and in the British climate is another question.
 

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