How Can You Help Bats?
The number of bats in the UK has gone down significantly during the last hundred years, so there are far fewer bats than there used to be.
This is because of things such as:
- The places bats roost and the places they find insects, such as trees and woodlands, have been destroyed to make way for buildings and roads.
- The use of pesticides has meant there are less insects around for bats to feed on. These chemicals can also harm bats themselves.
- Many people are not aware that bats need our help, and are sometimes scared of them because of how bats are presented in films and on television. This makes it harder for bats to get the help they need.
All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them.
Bats need everyone's help and protection, and there are lots of simple things you can do that will make a big difference for bats! Here are some ideas...
The Young Batworker's Club is the junior wing of the Bat Conservation Trust. Young batters (under 16) can join for just £12. As a Young Batworker you'll get:
- Regular copies of The Young Batworker magazine, filled with batty facts, posters and things to do
- A special Young Batworkers' Club badge
- A Bat Calendar (colourful single page A3)
- Lots of batty bits and pieces, including stickers, postcards and facts sheets.
Join Now (don't forget to ask an adult for help)
We know that there aren't as many bats in the UK as there used to be, which is why we're working hard to save the bats that are left and make sure that we don't lose any more.
So that we know how well we're doing this, we need to be able to have an idea of how many bats there are. We can only do this with the help of hundreds of volunteers all around the country who count them for us.
Most of the counting happens after dark and requires expert knowledge to tell the difference between bat species. There is one survey that you can help with - the Sunset/Sunrise Survey!
To take part in the Sunset/Sunrise Survey you need to get up really early (about an hour before sunrise) or go out at dusk to see if you can spot bats as they are leaving, or returning to their roosts. You'll need to persuade an adult to go out with you.
All our UK bats eat insects - a single bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night, so they need plenty of them! You can make your garden bat-friendly by doing things like:
- Planting night-scented flowers, which attract insects
- Creating a pond
- Putting up a bat box for bats to roost in
- Letting your garden go a bit wild - neatly pruned gardens aren't as good for insects
- Making sure you don't use any chemicals or pesticides on your garden
- Ask an adult to help you find out more about how to garden for bats - they can visit our 'Encouraging Bats' page for more information
Bat Walks are great fun and the best way for you to see and hear bats. Experience the fun of finding bats with a bat detector, and learn from the bat experts about how to tell which type of bat is which.
Most bat walks happen during the warm summer months when bats are out and about.
Visit our events page to find out if there are bat walks happening near you.