Fact of the week

A ringed female Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii), weighing in at just 8g, recently set a British record by flying 2,018km from London to the Russian village of Molgino, near Moscow – where it was killed by a cat.

A Nathusius’ bat was first identified in the reserve in 2019 by Richard Green, Lead Ecologist for the RPS Ecology Survey of Church Lane. This is just one of twelve species of bats identified in the reserve.
Header imge: Nathusius pipistrelle wing by Rauno Kalda (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Endangered flight corridor

Of the 18 species of bats native to Britain, 13 have been identified in Southwick Country Park, in Southwick Court, and in the green fields between Trowbridge and Southwick. The thirteen includes the rare and endangered lesser horseshoe bat, a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and the internationally protected Bechstein’s bat, one of the rarest mammals in the UK.

Read on to see how proposed development will harm the bats’ habitat

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. 

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Bats and WHSAP

Nine species of bats have been identified in the park, among them members of the UK’s rare, internationally important population of Bechstein’s bats that roost in Green Lane Wood.

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