To some people, bats are a rare sighting. However, these creatures have long called the UK home.
There are many different types of bats in the UK. They are all protected under laws and regulations and can integrate themselves into your life differently. You may feel uncertain about what to do if they appear at some stage, as they can be somewhat elusive.
It’s worth thinking about all the different factors of having bats on your property. After all, people are being encouraged to do more for the bat population, and it’s important to do so responsibly. Read on for some things to consider regardingdifferent bat-related situations on your property.
What You Cannot Do
You are prohibited from certain treatments of bats. Some of these restrictions will be obvious, but as rules and regulations surround them, it’s worth going through these set standards anyway.
It’s a criminal offence to do any of the following:
• Kill, injure, capture, or control bats.
• Obstruct access to their resting places.
• Destroy or damage their resting places, even if they’re not home.
It shouldn’t be surprising that being cruel to creatures is against the law. Still, as many people believe it’s their right to swat or cull unwanted creatures in their homes, bats can’t be treated similarly.
There’s no real reason to be entirely dismissive of them, either. Bats are nocturnal, which means encounters aren’t likely unless you make an active effort to observe them. They sleep during the day, forage at night, and hibernate in winter. They also change roost sites seasonally, so they’ll be out of your hair sooner or later.
Efforts Around Protecting Them
Sadly, bat numbers are dwindling in the UK. They’re losing much of their natural habitats due to human activities.
There are regulations to protect them today. It’s worth reviewing what these measures are so you can be certain that you’re doing your part to live alongside them without issue.
For example, bat surveys can help you secure planning permission, as you’ll ensure that you’re not adversely impacting the creatures when building on any land you might share. The experts will review whether any of their foraging, commuting, or roost habitats will be affected by your activities. The survey results will enable developers to make strategic decisions that protect the local wildlife; they may leave bat roosts in place if they can, alter their work methods to prevent distress, or change the development schedule to not harm the creatures.
Sometimes, the destruction of a bad roost can’t be prevented if the project is to be carried out. Surveyors will ensure the process is conducted as ethically as possible, as well as legally. They’ll do everything they can to ensure the local bat population is unaffected, mostly by replacing roost types and ensuring there’s no net loss of them. Creating new roost areas can be challenging but offsets otherwise harmful activities.
The Possibility of Welcoming Them
Many people are fans of bats. Still, because bats are quite quick and sometimes hard to see, some homeowners can think they’ll only be lucky enough to catch a fleeting glimpse of these creatures.
However, bats can be welcomed into garden areas in the same way that birds can be. You can build or install special boxes for them that they could call home for a while. They may only use the boxes as an alternative to other roosting sites, but they should still drop in on occasion.
You could also cultivate your garden to make it more insect-friendly. That effort will create a feeding ground for the bats visiting your garden and give them an excuse to stay nearby and make return visits. They eat moths, beetles, and other most active insects at dusk and nighttime. Don’t use artificial lights to draw in the moths, as they will likely deter bats. Research what conditions and flora attract the bugs to create a thriving ecosystem for the bats.
Your efforts could be meaningful, given that bats are rare and endangered today. A feel-good factor goes along with these efforts, as you can be confident you’re doing a good and caring thing.
Knowing Where They Roost
Formally welcoming bats to your property may help you ensure that they don’t roost in inconvenient areas of your property. Though you can’t control them, they might feel more like welcome guests thanks to your efforts.
Bats can roost in many areas. They can gravitate to buildings like your home, but also mines, canal tunnels, railways, churches, and even the holes in trees. Obviously, you won’t have all of these things on or perhaps even near your property, but it’s worth reminding yourself of all the places they can show up. After all, they’re rather versatile, and the likelihood of their local presence can affect the need for the surveys mentioned above.
When it comes to properties specifically, they can roost in a few different places. They tend to gravitate towards areas with uneven roof tiles or large roof timbers. Hanging tiles and timber cladding are also favoured by them if they’re on south-facing walls and disused. They prefer no disturbance from artificial lighting and rooftops that have potentially been warmed in the sun.
Bats may be more likely to stop by if your property is located near woodland areas or those with lots of water as well. If the woodland area has many dead trees with loose bark, natural cavities, or features ash, beech, or oak varieties, then appearances by them near your home may rise. It’s worth keeping these factors in mind, as it can help you keep a sharper eye when tracing areas of your property for them.
There are a few things to think about when it comes to bats and your property. Because you can’t interfere with them or banish bats from your property, it’s worth thinking about other ways to integrate them into your life on more agreeable terms. Valuing their lives, surveying areas, providing bat-friendly measures, and even knowing where to look out for them can help you become more comfortable with their presence. Work with the experts and try to act compassionately, as bats in the UK really need such things today.