Last night Crafty Green Boyfriend and I went along to a Scottish Wildlife Trust meeting expecting to hear a talk about Urban Pollinators. However the speaker was unable to be there and at the last minute Liz Ferrel from the Bat Conservation Trust gave a talk on bats in the UK and how to garden for bats.
There are seventeen resident species of bat in the UK (only some of which are found in Scotland, due to our colder climate). Then there is the sad tale of the greater mouse eared bat, which was declared extinct in the UK in 1990, but since 2002, one lone male has flown over from France every winter to hibernate in the south of England!
Thelargest part of Liz's talk focussed on how to garden so as to encourage bats. British bats feed exclusively on insects so the best way to encourage them is to encourage the right insects to your garden, which in turn means planting the right flowering plants. In addition you may want to put up some bat boxes on your house, or on trees in your garden. You can find out more here or download the guide to Encouraging Bats here.
Bats eat a variety of insects and can help keep down the number of midges and mosquitoes!
Edinburgh is home to a good number of bats and we've enjoyed a number of guided bat walks in the city, most recently this walk last September. Common and soprano pipistrelles are the city's most common bats with Daubenton's bats being quite common over the canal and our rivers.