The Big Survey of Bats

The Croft Castle Parkland supports a variety of both common and rare bat species. We have in past summers held ‘bat hunts’ mainly for children to come and make use of hand held bat detectors, like the one on the right below, to track the bats that frequent the meadow in the front of the castle. In 2016 however there was an in depth survey undertaken to try and establish how well that bat population was doing.
Different species have a preference for different habitat environments, and the 1500 acres provides a variety of habitats; knowing the preferred habitat for the species we have here helps us with the management of the varying environments. This is particularly significant in the context of the many changes that are taking place throughout the parkland.

The method of survey involved following set walked routes called transects and making use of static bat detectors like the one on the left above. This was a scientific survey carried out under quite specific conditions between the months of May & September inclusive.
The findings of the survey identified nine different bat species, some wide ranging others in quite specific environments.

We now have an idea of the population size and the environment they frequent, this key information will now be used when planning any extensive activity in the parkland.

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John Parsons