We have had a bat box scheme at Hilton since 1991. The first droppings, indicating that bats were using the boxes, were found in 1999 and then in 2000 the first live bat encountered was a pipistrelle. Since then five species have been discovered using the boxes – common and soprano pipistrelles, noctules, Leisler’s and Natterer’s bats.
The first Natterer’s bat was in 2007; a small maternity colony with remarkably stable numbers has been found in most years since.
This year we undertook the annual check and clean of the boxes on 3rd November. Eight bat group members checked 38 boxes. 55% had evidence of use while 13%, 5 boxes, held live bats. In total there were 8 noctules and the regular group of Natterer’s bats totalling 12 this year.