2015 Bat Walk
This year’s Carlisle Park Bat Walk took place Friday, 4th September. The weather was rather cool, which deters insects (bat food) and bats from emerging. However both common and soprano pipistrelles were seen and heard (with the aid of bat detectors) - but they were not as widespread in the park as last year.
Once again, Alison Fure enthused us with her knowledge of bats: their lifecycle, their food and habitat requirements, and how we can enhance the park to help them.
The bats emerged almost as soon as the sun had set, indicating roosts in or very close to the park. The fact that they were only detected along the “Denmead edge”, as far as the Wensleydale Gardens corner, indicates the importance of the double line of lime trees, both as a navigation aid and as a dark tunnel enclosing flying insects.
We learned that now is the time that bats may use the bat boxes, that were put up last year, as temporary mating roosts.
Alison spoke again about light in the environment as a threat to bats. Bats like dark! But lights can be deadly for insects who are attracted to them, and anything that’s bad for insects is bad for bats. So please consider your security lights!
There is still much we could do to make the park more insect- and bat-friendly: filling gaps in tree lines, more flowers (of the right type), and more long grass. The Friends, together with RUTC Parks Department, are working on it!
To learn more about bats, check out the Bat Conservation Trust. You can download a very informative pdf on bat-friendly gardening from their website.