Bats… What do they look like?

In the U.K. there are approximately 14 species, all of which are small. Bats’ wings are a soft membrane of skin stretched over their arms and legs, and like other mammals their bodies are covered with fur or hair. They have long ears and strong claws, which enable them to hang upside down in their roosts.

Where do they live?

Bats are found in many places including houses, churches, farms, caves, mines and many other buildings.

What do they eat?

The species of bat that are seen in the U.K. live mainly on insects. These include moths, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes etc which they catch while flying, or they may pick them off plants.

Bats and the law

Bats are not considered to be pests, and are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Under this Act it is illegal to kill, handle or move bats. It is also illegal to restrict access to any place a bat uses for its shelter.

What if I find bats in my property?

If you think you have bats roosting within your property, please do not take any action before you phone the U.K. Bat Help Line 0161 764 8850, English Nature 01704 385735 or your local Bat Group or Wildlife Trust for advice.

Will they damage my property?

Bats are not known to cause any damage to buildings. They do not gnaw wood, cable or make holes to gain entry to properties; they only use existing gaps or holes. Remember bats are protected by law.

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