Safeguarding lesser horseshoe bats in the upper Usk Valley
The Trust has just completed a three-year Our Beacon for Bats project, funded by the Brecon Beacons Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and Natural Resources Wales.
The project focused on the the Usk Valley in South Wales, from Brecon to Crickhowell, which has one of the most significant populations of lesser horseshoe bats in Europe, and where the Trust manages five lesser horseshoe bat maternity roosts.
The project contributed to long-term conservation of the lesser horseshoe bat by improving understanding of the importance of local landscape features; planting and restoring hedgerows to improve connectivity of bat foraging routes; enhancing lime kilns and pill boxes as suitable bat roosting sites; designing and trialling a night roost for bats; training volunteers in bat detection and survey techniques; educating school children and raising awareness of bats within the local community.
You can read about the progress of the project in the two project e-newsletter, produced March 2012 and December 2012.
We are grateful to all the volunteers and landowners who contributed to the project. We are currently developing a second-stage project to build on the work undertaken during this project. Watch this space for more details.
As part of the project, the Trust installed a webcam at its most important lesser horseshoe bat maternity roost in the Usk Valley. You can view live footage from of the bats in the roost here. During the daytime in the summer there are often 50-60 individual bats visible on the webcam! Have a look at dusk and you may be able to see the bats flying around inside the roost before they emerge at sunset.
The Our Beacon for Bats project was generously funded by the Brecon Beacons Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and Natural Resources Wales.