Typically seen at a fleeting glance as they dart overhead in the darkness, you can now witness these fascinating mammals up-close inside their maternity roost at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, thanks to Essex Wildlife Trust’s live webcam.
The maternity roost consists entirely of female Soprano Pipistrelle bats, soon to give birth and rear their single pups on their milk in the safe space of the bat box. First spotted roosting in the roof of Essex Wildlife Trust’s Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre in 2000, a special bat box was then erected outside of the visitor centre during 2011, to encourage more bats to the site. Every spring since, the box has been used by pregnant females. Last spring an impressive 1,773 bats were recorded using both the box and the roof roost. This is the largest ever reported recording of a Soprano Pipistrelle roost as part of the Bat Conservation Trust’s National Bat Monitoring Programme.