Brown Long-eared Bat

Plecotus auritus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Brown Long-eared Bat


A medium-sized bat, the Brown Long-eared Bat certainly lives up to its name! All British Bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects which they find in the dark by using echolocation. Long-eared Bats roost in holes in trees and loft voids in old buildings, and feed in large gardens, along hedgerows, in parks and in woodland. They hibernate over winter, between November and April.

How to identify

The Brown Long-eared Bat has greyish-brown fur and characteristically big ears. It shows a relatively slow, fluttery flight.

Where to find it

Widespread throughout the country, but absent from some Scottish Islands.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Brown Long-eared and other bats are declining as roost sites are lost to development and pesticide-use reduces their insect-prey. But you can help our bats in your own garden; why not try putting up a bat box? Pick a tree that gets some sun during the day, but is near to a hedge or other trees. All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them.

Local information

Part of the BBOWT Bernwood Forest project involves managing woodland rides and paths to encourage bats, such as the brown long-eared bat, by creating a range of habitats and corridors to link them. Reserves within the project area include Asham Meads, Bernwood Meadows, Finemere Wood, Rushbeds Wood and Whitecross Green Wood. To get involved in this project, join one of the local BBOWT work parties. You can also encourage other bat species into your garden with bat boxes and plants to attract their insect-prey.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Brown Long-eared Bat
Latin name
Plecotus auritus
Length: 9cm Weight: 5-11g Wingspan: 25cm Average lifespan: can live up to 30 years
Conservation status
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.