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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation
Tuesday 2nd September, 2014

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Spooky Halloweeners Help Wild Bats

Halloween saw a spookily good effort by the visiting public of Muncaster castle to help out wild bats, by building them somewhere to live!

The world owl trust together with the members of the newly formed West Cumbria Bat Group ran an afternoon of bat box making. An activity aimed at children and designed to not only create homes for the wild bats of Muncaster, but also to raise awareness of British bats and their conservation.

Making a bat box

Children that took part helped to put together their very own bat box, which was then allocated a number. Each child had a photo taken with their box and received a certificate to say that they had helped the wild bats of Muncaster. The boxes will be put up around the grounds and the children can then identify which box is theirs in the future.

Britain is lucky enough to have 17 species of native bat and here at Muncaster while walking around the eerie feeling grounds at night, the bat group identified three species of bat in flight. This is done by using a bat detector to pick up the frequency of the bats calls and help identify them. The brown long-eared bat, a particular favourite of mine was located along the impressive castle terrace, while both species of pipistrelle were seen frantically catching insects around the café courtyard.

Brown Long-eared Bat

Most bat species will roost in trees, buildings and caves and will choose different roosts depending on the time of year and weather conditions. One of the biggest threats faced by bats today is the loss of habitat and home and by putting up bat boxes we are providing vital roost sites. Bats need places to live and just like our Halloween heroes you too can help by putting up bat boxes like the ones we have at Muncaster, or if you have a roost please do not let it be destroyed. If you think you may have bats roosting in your house or buildings you can call the Bat Conservation Trust helpline 0845 1300 228 and a volunteer roost visitor can have a look at no cost to you. Working within the law there is room for both bats and people to co-exist and as our happy halloweeners proved, bats don’t have to be scary!!!!

Hilary Lange

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The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.
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