We were delighted this summer to see the greater horseshoe bats back with their pups in the newly renovated roost in W Sussex. Thanks to our partnership working with Sussex Bat Group and the huge generosity of funders, supporters and volunteers, this young bat now has a safe and weatherproof space to roost and to practise flight skills – and this important pioneer colony of greater horseshoe bats now has a safe and weatherproof space to roost and raise new generations of bats into the future.
Greater horseshoe bat with pup in foreground with solo bat in background.
The building is now weatherproof, but there are still improvements to make to the roost over the next year to make it a bespoke space for greater horseshoe bats and to future-proof it against the impacts of climate change. These works will happen during the winter months when the bats move to their hibernation roosts and will include predator-proofing the building; constructing thermo-regulated sections for maternity roosts; and installing equipment to monitor the population over time.
Although the official Sussex Bat Appeal has now finished, you can still donate through Sussex Bat Group’s JustGIving page to support the creation of the Tony Hutson Hide to commemorate one of Sussex Bat Group’s founders and instigators of the Sussex Bat Appeal – and to continue to support the recovery of the greater horseshoe bat in southeast England.
These photographs were taken by VWT’s Bat Programme Manager, Daniel Hargreaves, who holds a licence to photograph inside a bat roost for research purposes.