Common pipistrelle bat. Source: Barracuda1983 / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Bats are roosting in or near to Crabtree Fields public open space and can be seen flying among the trees shortly after sunset.

Three positive sightings of either common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) or soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) bats have been made during August. These two species of bat at the most common in the UK, and are difficult to tell apart. Their numbers could be in decline due to loss of habitat.

Bats feed off insects at night and come out between sunset and sunrise and can be seen from March to October. They live in small crevices in buildings or in holes in trees. During the winter they hibernate.

Regular sightings of bats indicate that there is a reasonable amount of biodiversity in a location to support the number of flying insects that bats feed on. Over the past few years the Friends group at Crabtree Fields have been working to improve the insect habitat of the small park by creating areas of deadwood and leaving piles of leaves to compost at various locations. The Friends have also improved the variety of native plants to support insect life.

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