Would you swap your bird house for a bat box?

We know you'll probably have a few bat decorations flying about your house this Halloween but how do you fancy having the real thing to impress trick-or-treaters?

Bats play an essential part in any Halloween celebration, perhaps hanging up in your house as a decoration or piped onto a spooky biscuit. But once you tear off the October page from your calendar, we’re guessing most of you would not be keen on any dark winged creatures lurking in your corners for the rest of the year (other than the odd toy Batman figure, of course).

However, we feel the little fluffy mammals (not flying mice!) have a bit of an unfair reputation, often portrayed as scary, blood sucking, rabid creatures. But truth be told they will not try to launch for your throat, nest in your hair or even come anywhere near you. In fact most British bat species can be pretty darn cute!

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Image credit: Radu Privantu / Flickr

And what’s more, they a protected species and very are important for our environment. The little winged creatures are necessary for the biodiversity of the planet as both pollinators and pest controllers. In other words, your garden will bloom with their presence and you can sit outside and enjoy it mosquito bite free!

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But alas, according to The Bat Conservation Trust (B.C.T.), there has been a rapid decline in bat populations due to loss of habitat thanks to us humans.  So it’s time for homeowners to help bats survive and thrive by creating new habitats in our gardens, giving them the perfect spot to roost.

If you fancy a bit of carpentry DIY you can make your own bat box. Find details on the Bat Conservation Trust website. Or you can buy small ready-made bat boxes that fit high on exterior walls, trees or garden sheds. Choose one that is built to B.C.T. specifications.

Here’s three that will look smart in your garden and that a homeless bat would love to move into…

 

The Posh Bat Box, from The Posh Shed Company is painted in a Sadolin Ebony and will look charming on the eves of a house. Put it as high as possible in sheltered sunny places, ideally 4m above the ground.

Buy now: The Bat Box is priced at £69 plus £6 p&p, The Posh Shed Company

 

This affordable rustic version will blend into your garden and has a cute grooved bat ladder making it easy for the new homeowners to climb in. We love the cool batman-style logo branded on the front.

Buy now:  Greenkey large bat box, £12.99, Amazon

 

The penthouse of all bat boxes for true bat fans and enthusiasts. This luxury version is designed for breeding. It actually heats up when connected to a domestic mains, making it the perfect honeymoon suite and maternity ward for bats.

Buy now: Wooden heated bat box, £576, NHBS

 

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Once installed, simply sit back, and enjoy your new bat buddies. You might even get a new baby bat pup or two. Trust us, watching them swoop, swirl and call (the sound bats make) around your garden on a summer’s evening once the birds are tucked up for the night is pretty cool and a spectacular site- just ask Dracula!

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