Bats are fascinating creatures; on a warm summer’s evening, as day turns to dusk, you may be lucky enough to spot one darting about amongst the trees or over water chasing small insects.
Sadly, in the UK bats have declined dramatically in the last 100 years. Thanks to conservation action some species are showing signs of recovery but to ensure this continues, there is a lot more work to be done.
Bats are at risk from factors including habitat loss, diminishing food supplies, increased urbanisation, light pollution and intensive agricultural practices. Many of the roosting sites and feeding grounds that bats need have been destroyed.
Bats need to eat thousands of insects a night and the increased use of pesticides is causing a huge decline in insect populations, leaving them to suffer. The loss of hedgerows and ancient woodland has destroyed places for bats to roost, and with wild places more spread out, bats find it harder to move between their roosts and feeding sites.
However, there is hope; we are tackling this problem at a local level.
Our network of nature reserves provide a variety of precious habitats for bats to roost, mate and forage for food. We carry out important work across our two counties on our reserves and within our communities to help protect bats and allow them to thrive in the wild. With your help we can continue this vital work.
£20 Could help pay for the materials needed to build a bug hotel in a community garden to help increase the amount of insects there are for bats to eat
£50 Could pay for volunteer training to monitor and survey bat habitats
£100 Could help restore a hedgerow so that bats can move across the landscape and search for food
To donate over the phone by credit or debit card please call 0116 262 9968
To donate by post please send a cheque payable to 'Leicesterhsire ad Rutland Wildife Trust' to Leicesterhsire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, The Old Mill, 9 Soar Lane, Leicester, LE3 5DE.
Jim Graham, President of Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society, tells us about this fantastic project.