Posted 6th Jun 2018
As the darkness takes over, flitting in and out of the shadows will be the nocturnal mammal that is the bat
The bat is as charismatic as it is misunderstood – Britain is home to 18 species of bat, with the largest being the noctule, which weighs as little as four £1 coins, while the smallest, the pipistrelle, weighs the same as a 2p coin. Despite this, the little bat can gobble up over 500 insects an hour. Regardless of where you spot them, the sight of a bat never fails to quicken the heart.
Bats will be at their most active during the summer months when they come out of hibernation, hunting insects, giving birth and raising their young. The best time to see them will be either sunrise or sunset, when it's both warm and dry.
While some bats will fly relatively high, others can be found closer to the ground, not venturing far above the trees or flying low over grassland and water. If you really want to experience the world of the bat, it will be worth borrowing a special detector that lets you hear the high-frequency clicks and buzzes of bats using echolocation to hunt.
Not only will you be able to hear how many bats are around you, but the frequency of the calls ensures you can identify the bats in the dark.
If you're unable to get to any of the sites listed here, you may still get to see the beguiling creatures where you live, regardless of whether it’s the countryside, town or city. Every British bat will eat insects, so making your garden wildlife-friendly could be a great way of enticing some to you as well.
Information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts / photo courtesy of ©Dale Sutton/2020VISION