I recently donated some spare floor insulation to Tony Atkinson of the Cornwall Bat Group. Tony used to work for me, and still does occasional bat surveys for us. This is relevant, because Tony uses the dense foam for making bat boxes, and finds they give much higher occupancy rates than more common timber designs. Tony has monitored bats in Armstrong Wood, a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Wood, for over fifteen years, and uses the twice yearly visit to help provide experience for young trainees. So Kathryn, my wife, and I got invited along for the trip as well.
We occasionally get bats in our own house, with one individual roosting in the loft, and even adults flying around the corridors. They do not, however, get caught in your hair, so it is rather fun and interesting when they do appear in White Cottage!
Back at Armstrong’s Wood, the spring survey is undertaken before breeding starts, (it’s important not to disturb them at the wrong time of year), and again in October before hibernation. We were not disappointed by the results, with Brown long-eared bats, Pipistrelles and Noctule bats all being found. The dormouse boxes were however, empty. A shame as not yet something I have seen. But it was great to have a quiet afternoon in the woods and seeing some of the wildlife. Sometimes I get too caught up in the actual management, and need to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of the hard work.