Put Your Garden Plants In To Bat
Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a black shape as it flashed past my window. It was my local common pipistrelle, out on its nightly round of favourite hunting areas, my garden included.
If you love your garden you should also love bats, as they are most certainly on the list of gardeners’ friends when it comes to eating insect pests. All 10 species of our country’s bets are exclusively insect diners and will have visited a garden near you, from the smallest window box to the grounds of the grandest stately home.
Gardens have become an increasingly important habitat to our wildlife in recent decades, as you will be aware if you read the Sunday supplements and watch gardening programmes or Springwatch on TV. Hedgehogs snuffling for slugs on the lawn, butterflies on the buddleia and blue tits on the peanuts are all well-established highlights of a wildlife gardener’s experiences, but where do our beleaguered bats feature in all of this positive conservation?
You’ll probably be surprised to learn that they are doing quite well. With all these efforts directed towards birds and bumblebees, our bats are helped by default: almost an incidental spin-off. But their prospects could be made much better if we focused on what bats need in the garden.