How to build a bat box

How to build a bat box

Build your own bat box and give a bat a safe place to roost.

There are estimated to be more than 15 million gardens in the UK, covering an area greater than all of the UK’s nature reserves combined. Our gardens and public green spaces are vitally important habitats for wildlife, including bats.

The UK is home to 18 species of bat, the largest being the noctule which weighs the same as four £1 coins, and the smallest is the pipistrelle, which weighs as little as a 2p coin. This diminutive bat has a giant appetite, however – it is known to gobble up more than 500 insects in an hour!

Installing a bat box will help local bats, encouraging them to move into areas that have limited roosting space. All our bats are insect-eaters, so having a few flitting around might just make those evenings in the garden a little less buggy! 

What you need:

  • Untreated rough sawn timber
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Tape measure and pencil

Our gardens and public green spaces are vitally important habitats for wildlife, including bats

 

Building your bat box:

See the illustration below for a step-by-step guide to putting together your bat box.

wildlife watch bat box

Follow these extra tips:

  • A ‘bat ladder’ or other landing area leads to an entry slit wide enough to admit bats, but narrow enough to keep out predators, usually 15-20 mm.
  • Make sure joints are well sealed and avoid large, loose-fitting front panels – bats hate draughts.
  • Do not use removable lids and do not open the box once it is installed.

Remember!

All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them. Once up, a bat box cannot be opened legally without a licence. For more information on bats and the law call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228.

Heather landscape

© Jon Hawkins

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