The UK has 17 different species of bat which are found in a variety of habitats, although most importantly they need shelter, water and insects to survive.
A good source of information is the Bat Conservation Trust: visit their website to find out more www.bats.org.uk
All UK bats are protected by law (including their roosts) as they are a European Protected Species. European Protected Species (EPS) are species of plants and animals (except birds) protected by law throughout the European Union. In summary it is against the law to:
1. Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
2. Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
3. Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
4. Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
5. Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
Bats are a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and feature considerably within the Trust's conservation work.
Bats at the Lakes
The Lakes under the Trust's management are home to many species of bat including Daubenton's, Pipistrelle, Natterer's, Greater Horseshoe and Lesser Horseshoe.
Bat populations have been monitored at Roadford Lake by the Devon Bat Group since the reservoir was built in 1987 when over 200 bat boxes were erected as part of the mitigation works.
In 2008, 80 of these boxes were replaced and healthy populations are known to exist across the site. Monitoring at this site will continue well into the future and SWLT will continue to work with the Devon Bat Group and South West Water to ensure the populations remain in a healthy condition. Common species at Roadford include Daubenton's, Natterer's and Pipistrelle.
Surveying at Burrator, Siblyback and Wimbleball began in 2008. Roosts and activity have been confirmed at Wimbleball (Brown Long-eared) and Burrator (Lesser Horseshoe). Burrator is a National Bat Monitoring Site.
No evidence of roosting at Siblyback has been encountered. However it is thought that there is a nearby roost and that the lake is used as a feeding ground, both Pipistrelles and Noctules have been recorded at this site.
The Devon Bat Group also survey Old Mill Reservoir, near Dartmouth where there is a good population of Lesser Horseshoe bats these results are also submitted to the national monitoring scheme.
The Cornwall Bat Group are monitoring the boxes placed on site at College Lake and we hope to soon place boxes at Tamar Lakes.
Updated November 2012