Bats at our properties

The rare Barbastelle bat

We're at the forefront of bat conservation in the UK and produce advice for builders, conservators and foresters who encounter bats.

If you'd like to see bats at one of our places, you can try out our popular bat walks during the spring and summer months, when the bats are at their most active. Whenever you visit, please take care not to disturb them or their roosting places.

Here are just a few highlights of bat conservation work and the species you can see at our places.

Bats at Sherborne

This estate in Gloucestershire spans 1200 hectares of farmland, woodland, parkland, a village, a river and lakes. Bat conservationists have monitored bat roosts and feeding areas, and plotted flight lines.

So far we’ve discovered eight species of bat. By the end of the project we want to improve the bats' habitat to encourage a bigger population.

Bats at Woodchester Park

Woodchester Mansion and its surrounding parklands have been home to the greater horseshoe bat since the early 20th century. Since then, the bat population has fluctuated wildly due to changes in their environment and a number of harsh winters, dipping to a low of 85 bats.

However, the bats are now beginning to recover, with numbers gradually increasing each year. Since the National Trust began caring for the Masion, park and much of the valley, a programme of sensitive management has helped increase the bat population to about 150.

Bats at Horner Wood

Horner Wood is part of the Holnicote Estate in North Somerset. Nearly all 18 UK bat species have been found at this one woodland.

One of the most endangered bats across Europe is the greater horseshoe bat. A small number have been located with electronic bat detectors at the Horner village end of the wood. But the star breed is the barbastelle bat. This is a rare woodland species across Europe with a significant breeding population in Horner Wood.

Bats at Tyntesfield

Here’s a guide to the species of bats found at Tyntesfield and where to spot them.

To see hibernating bats, look in a tunnel near the wood-yard, the Chapel and the cellars of the Chaplain's House.

A colony of lesser horseshoe bats summer-roost in the roofs above the Billiard Room and Servants Hall.

Greater horseshoe bats have spring roosts in a stairwell of the Stable Block.

Serotine bats have small day-roosts in the roof void above the Drawing Room, the roof of the Stable Block and a crevice in the veranda. They also forage over the ornamental gardens to the east.

Brown long-eared bats have a summer roost in the roof void of the Chaplain’s House and night-roosts in many open buildings on the estate, such as the Stable Block.

Whiskered or Brandt’s bats have been detected foraging in the woodland and walled garden area.

Common and soprano pipistrelle bats forage widely around the grounds.

One of the easiest places to observe all these bats foraging at close quarters is the loggia on the south side of the house, where bats come to feed at night.