Batline Swoops In
BATLINE SWOOPS IN
The arrival of summer means the busy season for Wiltshire’s bats, who give birth in late May and June. Many of them will roost in attics, barns and outbuildings, causing needless consternation to house-owners. A special “Batline”, linked to a network of volunteer bat wardens, is now available to help put their minds at rest.
If you find a bat on your property and are worried about it, call the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for advice. Do not try to handle the bat yourself, even if it is injured, as this is against the law.
Bats and their roosts receive full legal protection. It is an offence to kill, injure, catch or keep bats, to damage or destroy their roosts, or to disturb them while they are roosting. If you are considering carrying out any work on your house that might disturb or injure bats, call the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
The Wildlife Information Officer for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is often the first port of call for those who find themselves with bats as house-guests. “we get calls from worried people who have found a bat inside their living spaces, “ adding that “bats are very gentle animals; they don’t cause damage or spread diseases.”
If you find the thought of bats in your belfry disturbing, be reassured: the roosts will be used only over the summer months, and sometimes only for a few weeks, after which time the bats will move on.
The population of these fascinating and highly intelligent creatures, which can live for up to 30 years, is in decline. Numbers of even the commonest bat, the pipistrelle, have been halved in recent years. Wiltshire is home to a number of species, including the threatened Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats.
If you would like to know more about bats, contact a Wildlife Information Officer.