Live Bat-cam!

Hang out and follow the secret lives of breeding Pipistrelle Bats.

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.

Bat Webcam

Soprano Pipistrelles are the second most common bat species in the UK. About the size of an adult thumb, they consume around 3,000 insects a night! They are nocturnal mammals and hunt in the dark using echolocation. They can be distinguished from the Common Pipistrelle by the pitch of their calls.

It is extremely exciting to be showcasing this bat roost to the world, it’s giving people an insight into this captivating species that they would normally never get to see. We would like to say a very special thank you to Essex Wildlife Trust’s Chelmsford Local Group for funding this project and helping it come into fruition.

For the first time, you can now watch the roost 24/7 on Essex Wildlife Trust’s website, here: www.essexwt.org.uk/bat-webcam. The bats will leave in autumn to their hibernation roosts elsewhere, so make sure to follow their journey over the spring and summer.