Thursday 23 August 2018

Press Release - New Homes for Bats in Badshot Lea

New Homes for Bats in Badshot Lea

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group, in partnership with the Surrey Bat Group, Farnham Town Council and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, are pleased to announce details of our exciting new project to provide a suite of new homes for bats in the Badshot Lea area. 

The project has been funded by generous grants of £500 from Farnham Town Council's Community Grants Scheme, £500 from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust's Small Grants Scheme, and £1,000 from the Surrey Bat Group.

Thirty new bat boxes have been bought and erected in suitable locations at Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve. The new boxes are state-of-the-art designs in woodcrete – a mixture of wood, clay and concrete – which won't leak, warp or crack, and should last for 25 years. The nature reserve's existing Bat Cave (a re-used concrete conveyor belt base on an island in a lake) will also be upgraded with more boxes and crevices for bats.

Annual surveys of bat numbers on site will be conducted by licensed surveyors, and the results used to inform the habitat management efforts on the nature reserve. A number of night-time bat walks will also be organised for members of the local community to come and enjoy the bats living on their doorstep.

Five species of bat have been recorded at Tice's Meadow, with Common Pipistrelles and Noctules a regular sight on warm evenings, along with Soprano Pipistrelles and Daubenton's. Brown Long-eared bats were found to be using the Bat Cave as a winter hibernation site for the first time this year.

There are 18 species of bat in the UK, with 17 known to breed here – almost a quarter of all the mammal species in the UK. Bats are considered an “indicator species” - their population trends can indicate changes to biodiversity or habitat condition. Bats are also an important natural pest control, feasting on mosquitoes and crop damaging insects each night.

In the UK bats, and their roosts, are legally protected. All work on our project will be conducted by suitably trained and licensed personnel.

Richard Horton, Chairman of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, said “this wonderful project is the beginning of a great partnership between ourselves, the Surrey Bat Group and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, with generous financial assistance from Farnham Town Council. We are so grateful to our generous funders for making this project a reality, and helping provide so many new homes for bats on our nature reserve”.

The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust was founded in 2006 by enthusiasts who care about the people and wildlife of the Blackwater Valley. A registered charity, with dedicated Trustees using their wide range of backgrounds to help conserve and improve the area's natural environment. This includes managing its countryside, and preserving its wildlife habitats and landscapes by making conservation projects happen. The Trust run a small grants scheme to fund projects by like-minded organisations in the Blackwater Valley. More details can be found here:

The Surrey Bat Group's aims are:
  • To protect Surrey's bat populations, their roosts, hibernation sites, feeding grounds and flight lines.
  • To advise landowners, planners and the public how they can help conserve bats.
  • To assess and record the current status of bats in Surrey, and to monitor populations through survey work and scientific projects.
  • To create opportunities for an increase in Surrey's bat population.
For more information:

Farnham Town Council administer a number of grant schemes that make funds available to organisations and projects in and around Farnham. The Town Council’s Policy on Community Grants is based on the principle of promoting the development of partnerships which encourage and enable local community organisations to deliver local projects to the residents of Farnham. 

For more information:

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peter Modelling a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bat Box Opened Up
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Inside of a Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Bat Box and Bird Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box

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