High Rise Bats
In October 2021 we had a public open day, showing off the museum for the first time in over two years. This meant opening spaces that had been dormant, and, though we didn't know it, disturbing some opportunistic lodgers...
The Agricultural Displays are in a mock stables, complete with huge shuttered windows. With these shutters open the light is beautiful and really shows off the space. But when we opened the shutters we got a surprise! Some tiny bats had snuck into the space where the doors don't quite sit flush with the frame.
Moving or disturbing bats without a licence and proper oversight is illegal. This put us in a tricky position. We couldn't use the building without moving them, but couldn't move them without breaking the law. So we got in touch with the Bat Conservation Trust, who gave us some great advice about what to do. We found Steff Ferguson, a Consultant Ecologist licenced to move bats, who could help us to keep the bats safe and the building usable.
And that's where the public came in. As a fledgling organisation running on a very small budget, we needed help to make this work happen. Thanks to some very generous donors, we raised enough money to pay for the works and create interpretation panels to teach visitors about bats and their fascinating lives! With these funds we bought a bat box! It's a snug little house that gives the bats somewhere to live where they won't be disturbed, and can house up to 30 bats.
By adding brushes to the top of the door we made it a less attractive space for bats to roost, but without hurting them if they try. By installing these brushes, and placing the bat box nearby, we have given the bats a safe home that lets us keep using the buildings at the same time.