Turn your green space into a sanctuary for nesting bats: a practical guide


Green spaces are not only beautiful and relaxing, but they also play a crucial role in supporting biodiversity. One group of animals that greatly benefit from green spaces are bats. These fascinating creatures are important pollinators and pest controllers, and they rely on green spaces for foraging and nesting. If you have a green space, whether it’s a large garden, a backyard, or even a balcony, you can turn it into a sanctuary for nesting bats. In this practical guide, we will explore the steps you can take to create a bat-friendly environment and help conserve these amazing creatures.

Understanding bats

Before diving into creating a bat sanctuary, it’s important to understand the basic needs and behaviors of bats. Bats are nocturnal mammals that are capable of sustained flight. They are the only mammals that can truly fly. There are over 1,400 species of bats worldwide, and they come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Bats are insectivores, meaning they primarily feed on insects. In fact, a single bat can consume thousands of insects in a single night, making them excellent natural pest controllers. Bats also play a crucial role in pollination, particularly for plants that bloom at night.

When it comes to nesting, bats prefer dark, quiet, and secluded spaces. They are known to roost in caves, tree hollows, and even man-made structures such as buildings and bat boxes. Creating a bat-friendly environment means providing suitable roosting sites and foraging opportunities.

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Providing roosting sites

One of the first steps in creating a bat sanctuary is providing suitable roosting sites. Bats prefer dark and quiet spaces, so you can start by installing bat boxes or bat houses in your green space. Bat boxes are artificial roosting structures that mimic natural tree hollows. They provide bats with a safe and cozy place to rest and raise their young.

When installing bat boxes, it’s important to consider their placement. Ideally, bat boxes should be mounted on poles or trees, at least 10 to 15 feet above the ground. They should be facing south or southeast to maximize sunlight exposure and warmth. Avoid placing bat boxes near bright lights or in areas with heavy human activity, as bats prefer quiet and undisturbed spaces.

In addition to bat boxes, you can also create natural roosting sites by preserving or planting trees with cavities. Dead or decaying trees are particularly attractive to bats, as they provide ample roosting opportunities. If you have any dead trees in your green space, consider leaving them standing or creating artificial cavities by drilling holes.

Enhancing foraging opportunities

In order to attract bats to your green space, it’s important to provide ample foraging opportunities. Bats primarily feed on insects, so creating a diverse and insect-friendly environment is key. Here are some tips to enhance foraging opportunities for bats:

  • Plant native plants: Native plants attract a wide range of insects, providing a natural food source for bats. Choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year to ensure a continuous supply of insects.
  • Install a water source: Bats need access to water for drinking and hunting insects. You can create a small pond, birdbath, or even a shallow dish filled with water to attract bats.
  • Minimize pesticide use: Pesticides can harm bats indirectly by reducing their food supply. Opt for natural pest control methods and avoid using chemical pesticides in your green space.
  • Provide night-blooming plants: Some plants, such as evening primrose and night-blooming jasmine, bloom at night and attract nocturnal insects. Planting these species can help attract bats to your green space.
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Creating a bat-friendly environment

In addition to providing roosting sites and foraging opportunities, there are several other steps you can take to create a bat-friendly environment:

  • Reduce light pollution: Bats are sensitive to light and prefer dark environments. Minimize light pollution in your green space by using low-intensity outdoor lighting and avoiding bright lights at night.
  • Minimize noise: Bats are also sensitive to noise, so try to create a quiet and peaceful environment. Avoid loud music, machinery, or other sources of noise that could disturb the bats.
  • Preserve natural habitats: If your green space is located near natural habitats such as forests or wetlands, make an effort to preserve and protect these areas. Bats rely on a variety of habitats for foraging and roosting.
  • Monitor and record bat activity: Once you have created a bat-friendly environment, you can monitor and record bat activity using bat detectors or by participating in citizen science projects. This data can help scientists better understand bat populations and contribute to conservation efforts.


Creating a bat sanctuary in your green space is not only a rewarding experience, but it also contributes to the conservation of these incredible creatures. By providing suitable roosting sites, enhancing foraging opportunities, and creating a bat-friendly environment, you can help support bat populations and promote biodiversity. So, why not turn your green space into a sanctuary for nesting bats and enjoy the benefits of having these amazing creatures as your neighbors?

A seasoned home enthusiast and garden lover, Julia believes that everyone’s abode should be their personal paradise. At EverydayGardenHomes, she shares daily inspirations to transform your space into a haven of tranquillity and beauty, one day at a time.

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