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Act for bats! East Cleveland Batscape project records rare bat at Saltburn

ByEmily

Oct 1, 2016

Exciting news on the bat front from Tees Valley Wildlife Trusts HLF funded East Cleveland Batscape project.  A rare Nathusius’ pipistrelle was recorded at Huntcliff, Saltburn last week using one of the projects bat detectors. Sarah Barry the Trust’s Bat officer said “We were really excited when one of our volunteers downloaded the data from the detector and realised what we had found. Nathusius’ pipistrelle is a rare bat in the UK, though records have increased in recent years. It is a primarily a migratory species and most bats are encountered in autumn. It is similar in appearance to, but slightly larger than the much more commonly found common and soprano pipistrelles, and the fur on its back is longer, sometimes giving a shaggy appearance. This is one of only a handful of records for the area.”

The East Cleveland Batscape aims to increase appreciation and understanding of the number of different bats in East Cleveland and how they are using the landscape to roost, forage and commute. Linked to this, the project is supporting with others, Wild About Gardens week which this year focuses on bats.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is on board he is urging gardeners to help bats this autumn during  Wild About Gardens Week which runs from 24th – 30th October. The RHS, The Wildlife Trusts and Bat Conservation Trust aim to inspire gardeners to help these special creatures while still creating beautiful gardens with events, a competition and advice.

Chris Packham says:

“I like bats as much now as when I was six. I love watching them swoop and pirouette around my garden and I stand entranced, trying to imagine what it is like to be them, what it is really like to fly that fast, to ‘see’ with sound, to find tiny insects in the air and snatch enough of them for a meal. We can all do our bit to make our gardens more welcoming to bats and all sort of other wildlife, find out how by getting involved in Wild About Gardens Week.”

As part of Wild About Gardens week the Trust has a number of events including a “Build your own bat box” at Preston Hall Museum on 26th October 2016, 10:00am –2:00pm and two Bat talk and walks

28th October 2016, 5:30pm – 7:00pm Linthorpe Cemetery,

29th October 2016, 5:00pm – 7:30pm Scaling Dam

For more information about these events visit http://www.teeswildlife.org/events/ or ring the Trust on 01287 636382

If you would like to discover how to attract and support bats in your garden download a free booklet: Stars of the Night – working together to create a ‘batty’ neighbourhood.

It contains:

  • Great ideas for planning a bat-friendly garden, balcony or window-box
  • Details of which bats are most likely to visit your garden and how to listen for them
  • A seasonal guide to what bats are doing throughout the year
  • Advice on reducing outdoor lighting – floodlit gardens are detrimental to bats

Or

Take part in the Plant a bat feast! competition to find the best insect-friendly plant display in the UK by sharing a photo of your bat-friendly border for a chance to win some fabulous prizes, including a bat box, a bat detector and a visit from a bat expert. All information on the competition, events and advice can be found atwww.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk

By Emily