Where are Southwick Country Park’s bats?

By Ali Rasey

Some of you have been on our bat walks over the last few years.  We have heard (using bat detectors) and seen many different species of bats, including noctules, serotines, pipistrelles, Myotis species, and brown long-eared bats.  There is also a record of a greater horseshoe bat (very exciting) – but we haven’t heard or seen that on our bat walks.  The best time for us to see/hear bats I think is in August and September; at this time juveniles as well as the adults are flying, and sunset is earlier so the bats are out earlier in the evening. 

So, where are the best places to see/hear these bats?   Some species will come out around sunset, although others don’t appear until it is really quite dark.  You will need a bat detector to hear bats:-

Myotis species (incl Daubenton’s bat) – over the pond near the decorated bridge      

Myotis species and brown long-eared bat – near Puddle Corne      

Noctule bat – over Lambrok Meadow

Serotine bat – near the main entrance to the Country Park

Pipistrelle bat – almost anywhere in the Country Park

We have a record for one of the UK’s rarest bats, Bechstein’s bat (Myotis Bechsteinii) in Southwick Country Park – this could be what we’re hearing near Puddle Corner.

Myotis Bechsteinii © Bat Conservation Trust

Want to know more about bats?  Check out the Bat Conservation Trust’s website www.bats.org.uk

Here is an article about protecting the park’s bats from the dangers of urban development:

3 thoughts on “

Add yours

  1. Thanks for all the information, might you know which phone app enables you to detect bats? I often stand in my wooded garden in Blind Lane at night and see lots of bats. It would be good to know which species they are.

  2. Ali

    According to what I have read, the only way of detecting the presence of Bechstein bats is to carry out a netting survey which has to be done by real experts. They are very elusive little creatures. That is why the confirmed detection of a Bechstein in the Park is so significant.

    I have been working with my parish council to establish a green corridor around the North and East of North Bradley village to help the bats from the East side of the village get access to their over wintering locations around Bradford on Avon. The Country Park is part of that route and hopefully the Southwick Court area is as well.

    The Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy (https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/documents/s157464/BIO45DraftTrowbridgeBatMitigationStrategy.pdf ) has usefully confirmed this policy. Like most of Wiltshire Council documents it makes reading hard going but worth it to learn a lot about bats. Importantly, it stresses the importance of controlling lighting. The Couintry Park is a good dark area, so ideal for bats.

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