The UK is home to 17 breeding species of wild bat. The most abundant species, the common pipistrelle, can weigh just 5 grams!
Despite their tiny stature, UK bats are important bioindicators of habitat quality and change. They regulate insect populations and suppress pests and invasive species.
Most of the 17 UK species can be found at Marwell and the surrounding landscape. Of these, 5 are listed as UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species: noctule, soprano pipistrelle, brown-eared, Bechstein’s, and barbastelle bats. The latter two are also listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. Bats and their roosts are all protected by law in the UK due to the dramatic decline in their numbers over the past century.
The large number of species in the area shows that our local landscape plays a vital part in providing important resources to bat populations. Particularly to those that are vulnerable and of specific conservation interest. It is also testament to the great conservation management of our grounds and surrounding woodlands!
Saturday 27 August 2022 is International Bat Night.