Bats in your garden

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Pipistrelle bat. Photo by Amy Lewis.Pipistrelle bat. Photo by Amy Lewis.

The only true flying mammal, bats are fascinating to watch as they swoop and flit about the night sky.

Over recent decades British bat populations have suffered huge declines as a result of habitat loss and human disturbance. Yet bats are essential to our environment, pollinating flowers, spreading seeds and stopping insect populations from getting out of control.

Create a home for bats

Did you know?

Bats need different conditions at different times of the year - so will move from home to home

Bats may roost in trees, caves, churches, bridges, tunnels and even our own homes! They prefer dark, quiet places where they won't be disturbed.

Make your buildings more 'bat-friendly' by providing bat boxes to help give bats a place to roost and hibernate.

  • Attach rough-sawn weatherboarding to the sides of walls to provide shelter.
  • Box in a section of eaves to form a makeshift bat box. Leave a series of gaps (2x20cm) around the sides to allow bats easy access.
  • Tiles that contain ventilation slits or cowled apertures can be adapted to allow bats to roost underneath. Purpose made bat bricks are also available to purchase.
  • Find out how to make your own bat box

Gardening for bats

Did you know?

There are no blood-sucking bats in Britain - all of our bats eat insects!

Bats feed on insects, so before you can attract bats to your garden you first need to attract insects.

  • Attract insects to your garden by downloading our list of suggested plants.
  • Build a pond in your garden! Ponds are fantastic for attracting insects into your garden, and bats love to feed above water. 
  • Creating a log or stone pile or compost heap will provide areas for insects to shelter and hibernate in.
  • Create an insect hotel 
  • Avoid using chemicals in your garden. These significantly decrease the available food supply for bats and other animals such as birds and amphibians. Bats will provide a natural form of pest control if attracted to your garden.

Find out where to see different kinds of bats

Gardening for Wildlife

Wildlife gardening

By gardening sympathetically for wildlife, you'll be rewarded by a truly natural outdoor space.

Find out what you can do for wildlife in your garden

Dig a pond

Dig a pond

Ponds support a greater diversity of wildlife than any other garden habitat. Find out how to create your own pond, whatever the size of your garden.

How to make an insect hotel

Build an insect hotel

Build an insect hotel to help give solitary bees a place to make their nest. Download our activity sheet to find out how.