Bats at our places

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. Whenever you visit, please take care not to disturb these shy creatures or their roosting places.

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

Sherborne Park, Gloucestershire

The Sherborne Park estate 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 at Sherborne. Our aim is to improve the bats' habitat to encourage a bigger population.

Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire

Woodchester Mansion and its surrounding parklands has 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 we've been caring for the estate, our programme of sensitive management has helped increase the bat population to about 150.

Horner Wood, Somerset

Nearly all 18 UK bat species have been found at this one woodland on the Holnicote Estate. 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.

Tyntesfield, Somerset

Tyntesfield house and grounds is home to seven species of bat. You can see some of them hibernating in a tunnel near the wood yard, in the Chapel and the cellars of the Chaplain's House.

A colony of lesser horseshoe bats roost during the summer 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.