Grey Long-Eared Bats

2 Oct 2019 | 0 comments

The grey long-eared bat is one of the UK’s rarest mammals. Their population is restricted to southern England, where they hunt for moths and other insects over wildflower meadows and marshes. These habitats support a wide array of insects, in large numbers and diversity of species – making these areas the perfect feeding ground for grey long-eared bats. Trill Farm ticks all the boxes; not only are there foraging habitats aplenty, the farm also supports a nationally important colony, roosting in the roof space of the Manor Barn.

The grey long-eared bat is one of the UK’s rarest mammals. Their population is restricted to southern England, where they hunt for moths and other insects over wildflower meadows and marshes. These habitats support a wide array of insects, in large numbers and diversity of species – making these areas the perfect feeding ground for grey long-eared bats. Trill Farm ticks all the boxes; not only are there foraging habitats aplenty, the farm also supports a nationally important colony, roosting in the roof space of the Manor Barn.

As much as a mixed habitat within the landscape is important, of equal importance is that of connectivity through the landscape. Bats tend to use linear features to navigate their way through the landscape, to get from their roosts to their foraging areas. Hedgerows, watercourses, rough grassland strips and arable margins, all provide opportunities for bats to get from A to B. If these linear features are managed in a way to support lots of insects, all the better – they will then provide foraging opportunities along the way.

Since 2017, the Bat Conservation Trust, as part of the national ‘Back from the Brink’ program, has been working with Trill Farm to monitor and raise awareness of this species and promote positive land management for grey long-eared bats and a range of other wildlife. Most recently, we have been working together with Wildscreen, to capture images of this elusive nocturnal creature – so watch this space for some very rare footage!

Craig Dunton is a landscape ecologist working with the Bat Conservation Trust and monitoring the Grey Long Eared Bats here at Trill Farm.

To find out more about the project, or for advice on land management for bats, email cdunton@bats.co.uk or visit ‘Back from the Brink’.

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