Bats at Parke

Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) hibernating in cave

A number of different species of bat use Parke throughout the year

Two of the most important are the Greater Horseshoe and Lesser Horseshoe bats and they use Parke in completely different ways.

  • The Lesser Horseshoe breed in the old stables of Parke House. Following renovation works in the last five years, the population has significantly increased to over 200 breeding females.
  • The Greater Horseshoe, on the other hand, are here just for the winter and hide themselves away in the old gardeners bothey, tucked behind the walled garden. In the spring, they go to the cave systems around Bovey Tracey and Buckfastleigh and meet up with females.

The real appeal of Parke, especially to the Lesser Horseshoe, are the cattle-grazed grasslands, which provide lots of invertebrates for them to feed on.

If you're interested in bats you might like to get involved in the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project and take part in the Devon Bat Survey.