Ever since we moved to Devon we have had the privilege of living and being close to these beautiful creatures with our first cottage home to Long-Eared Bats (Plecotus auritus) and our current home seeing regular visits from the local Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) roost. There is something very magical about taking a walk at dusk and just watching them skit about around you.
I have become more fascinated by these creatures over recent years and have gradually learnt more about them. We are very fortunate in Devon as we have the largest collection of bat species in the UK (16 of the 17 species of British Bats) so opportunities to observe them are great including the large population of Lesser Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros) at Arlington Court (National Trust) and Greater Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) residing in caves near Buckfastleigh. This roost of Greater Horseshoe Bats at Buckfastleigh is the largest in Western Europe with around 1,200 bats.
I am hoping that over time I may have the opportunity to photograph and video some of the bats but for now, Brian the Bechstein who appears in the photo below, is one of the bats that was in the care of a South Devon bat warden that we had the opportunity to visit. A lovely little character but pretty tricky to photograph!
For more Batty pictures I have a Bat Pinterest Board showcasing some of my favourite images I have found – so why not drop by and take a look! I have also found the video below of a Bechstein Roost in Gloucestershire – so enjoy :0)
However, it is important to remember that Bats are a protected species so it is illegal to disturb or photograph bats and roosts. The bats in this gallery are in the care of a very experienced and licensed Bat Wardens.
In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation. The relevant legislation in England and Wales is the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) (as amended); the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000; the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC, 2006); and by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010).
This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you:
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
- Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
- Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
- Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
The Bat Conservation Trust have guides available on their website on Bats and the Law which you can download below or direct from their website.
I hope you have found my page of interest and if you would like to find out more about this wonderful species please visit the Devon Bat Group and Bat Conservation Trust where you can find a wealth of information and resources.
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