I have found a sick or injured bat - what should I do?
If you find a bat outside and are able to approach it or pick it up, it is probably sick, injured or weak. To
avoid it suffering any further distress gently pick it up and put it in a secure box. The box should be lined
with kitchen paper to give the bat a grip and must have a tightly fitting lid or the bat will quickly escape.
Make a few small air holes in the lid. Soak some tissue in water and put this in a small container in the box.
If you have some cat food try giving the bat a little (just half a teaspoonful will be plenty). Leave the box in
a quiet, dark place until dusk. If the weather is dry and not too cold, take the bat outside at dusk, warming it
first in your hands until it starts to move about. Hold your palm out flat at chest height at see if the bat
If the bat is clearly injured when you find it (signs of blood, damaged wing etc.) or if it seems alright but does
not fly away after following the above instructions contact the
for Yorkshire on 01132 747938
There is a bat flying around inside my house - how do I get it out?
Bats can get into houses through small crevices, down the chimney, through open doors and windows or they may be
brought in and released by a cat. Mostly they will fly about at night and hide in some secluded corner during
daylight, only to appear again the following night, perhaps in a different room. When flying they make high-pitched
sounds that we can't hear called echolocation, which tell them what obstacles are in their way. So, if you have a
large window in the room open it and the bat will likely soon find its way out. Otherwise wait for it to settle
(often in the folds of a curtain) approach it slowly, pick it up gently and take it outside. If the bat 'disappears'
it is best to wait until it re-emerges. There is no easy way to find a hidden bat unless you are prepared to move
all your furniture!
A bat inside a building is usually a one-off event. If you have repeated problems call
for Yorkshire on 01132 747938
There are bats living in my roof/under the eaves - what should I do?
Best to leave them alone! Bats originally lived in natural crevices like tree holes, but because we have
destroyed many of their natural homes many have now adapted to live in our houses, even modern ones. Bats
usually live in buildings during summer (May-September) going elsewhere to hibernate for the winter. They
make use of existing crevices and do not build nests, so they cause no damage to property. The worst problem
you are likely to encounter is a few droppings beneath their entry point. Bats are insect eaters and their
droppings comprise mostly bits of insect wings, so they don't smell or carry diseases transmissible to humans.
Many bats in houses live under the eaves, inside soffits or between tiles and roofing felt, so never go inside the
roof space. But if you have an older house you may have brown long-eared bats hanging from the main beam.
Bats usually return to the same place year after year.
Bats have declined dramatically in recent years all bats and their roosts are protected by law at all times. It
is illegal to do anything which may harm them or stop them entering or leaving their roost site, even if they are
apparently absent at the time, without first obtaining advice from
sort of thing which might require advice is replacing, repairing or repainting fascias, soffits and bargeboards;
re-roofing the property; having the timbers treated for woodworm or dry rot; or converting the loft into a room.
Someone wants to redevelop some property nearby, but I see bats flying there. Can they go ahead?
Bats and their roosting places are protected by law, but bats may fly several miles at night so there are few places
where you are unlikely to see at least one if you look. The key thing is whether the bats roost in the buildings
or trees to be affected. If you see bats leaving at dusk, often from a small hole high up on a building, then it
is very likely they roost there. So, first of all, go out on a few evenings and try to spot whether the bats are
going out to feed elsewhere, or coming to the site to feed, from elsewhere. Getting a conclusive answer is not
always easy, even for an expert, so if there is any doubt, it is best to assume that they might live there.
If you have good reason to suspect that bats do live at the site, tell the Planning Department of the local council.
Bats are a material consideration when deciding whether to grant planning permission, but if you don't say anything,
it is possible that the applicant or council might not know anything about them. Usually the council will then
ask the applicant to have a survey carried out by an expert.
Even if there are bats present, that is only occasionally sufficient on its own to stop a development. However,
the developer will have a legal duty to carry out agreed measures to try to ensure that bats continue to live at the
site after the development has taken place and will need a licence from the Department of the Environment, Food &
Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in addition to valid planning permission.
Will bats harm me or my family?
No. Bats are small, insect-eating mammals that are likely to be more afraid of you, than you are of them.
Most species which live in houses weigh only a few grammes and many adult bats would fit in a matchbox with their wings
closed. It is always wise to avoid letting any animal try to bite you, but the teeth of many of our bats are too
small to pierce the skin. Bats have excellent navigation skills thanks to their echolocation system, so they
won't get caught in your hair. There are no vampire bats in Britain!
If I have a roost in my house - will I be overrun with bats in a few years?
This is very unlikely to happen. Although the majority of obvious roosts in houses consist largely of female bats
which gather together to give birth, they breed at a very slow rate so big increases in numbers are very rare.
A bat is usually several years old before it breeds for the first time and even then it may not breed every year.
When it does breed, it only gives birth to one youngster a year. Because bats feed only on insects, they have to
hibernate in the winter, first putting on sufficient fat to see them through the cold months. This can be quite a
challenge for a young bat, so many die in their first winter.
So, although most of the adult females and their female babies will return the next year to your house, the overall total
number of bats is likely to be roughly the same. That is not to say that you won't notice some fluctuation in
numbers. For example, most villages or areas of a town will probably have a colony of 200 - 300
They will know a variety of roosting sites, some suitable only in certain weather conditions, which they will use.
If the weather changes suddenly, bats from another roost might arrive or all your bats might leave and go elsewhere.
And if they lose a favoured roost, then they have to look elsewhere so you might gain bats from that roost.
There are bats living in my roof space, what should I do?
You should leave them alone. Bats are a protected species and it is illegal to do anything which may harm them
or stop them entering or leaving their roost site without obtaining advice from English Nature.
If you need further information or advice about bats please call the English Nature helpline for Yorkshire on
. If necessary a local "bat worker" will be asked to
call on you to help solve your problem. There is no charge for this service.
Where can I find further information about bats?
If you need further information or advice about bats please call the
for Yorkshire on 01132 747938
. If necessary a local "bat worker" will
be asked to call on you to help solve your problem. There is no charge for this service.
Bat surveys required in connection with planning applications for developments or the preparation of DEFRA licence
applications is not covered by this service. These services can be obtained on a fee basis from suitably
qualified ecological consultants.
The above information has been kindly supplied by John Drewett of English Nature, whop can be contacted on
You may also find the following sites useful:
Bat Conservation Trust: www.bats.org.uk
North Yorkshire Bat Group: www.nyorkbats.freeserve.co.uk
West Yorkshire Bat Group: http://www.westyorkshirebats.org.uk