How to encourage bats to your belfry this Halloween!
Okay, so not everyone has a bell tower…but bats are a popular signifier of spooky season, so here are some ways to help create a bat friendly environment for them throughout this vampire – I mean, bat friendly season!
According to the Cornwall Mammal Group, the Cornish word for ‘Bats’ is ‘askel grohen’ which means ‘leather wings’. They state that for years, all bats were considered ‘bats’ without much consideration for individual species’ identification.
Now, ‘over 1,000 different bat species are known to science’ of which ‘17 have been identified as breeding residents in the UK’ and of these 17, there are known to be 13 different species of breeding pairs in Cornwall.
11 of the resident bat species of Kernow (According to the Cornwall Mammal Group):
Brown Long Eared Bat
Greater Horseshoe Bat
Lesser Horseshoe Bat
The Red List
The scariest thing about bats is the amount of our native species that have made it onto the Red List for Britain’s Mammals. There are 8 bat species that have made it onto this list and half of them are bats that can be found in Cornwall, with the Barbastelle and Serotine bat classed as ‘Vulnerable to extinction’.
Human behaviour has had an extremely negative impact on bats and due to habitat loss, there has been a huge decline in their numbers across the UK and Europe over the last few years.
Rowena Millar, in an article for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust writes, ‘Britain’s old crumbling buildings and dead trees have too often been cleared away, insecticides have done their deadly damage, and modern development has expanded.’ All of which are playing their role in the devastating decline of many British mammals.
So, how can we improve these chilling statistics and help silhouette the stark October sky with the shadow of bats and support their upcoming hibernation?
Happy habitat for bats:
Wild green spaces - keeping your garden wild encourages lots of wildlife, including bats. The more insects and creepy crawlies you can encourage into your garden, the more bats will come to help you manage their numbers!
Cracks and crevices – Gaps in outdoor sheds and buildings can form the perfect entrance into quiet sheltered spaces for our leather winged friends to rest!
Finally, don’t disturb bats!! – Click here for a little advice guide recommended by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
For more tips click here to explore the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s article on bats.