Welcome to our bat webcam, bringing you live pictures from our bat roost at Hanningfield Reservoir visitor centre, near Billericay.
A few years after the visitor centre was opened, in 2000, a bat maternity roost was established in the roof. This means that every spring, pregnant females come to the roost to give birth and rear their young. The bats then all leave in the autumn, to go to their hibernation roost elsewhere.
The roost is entirely made up of Soprano Pipistrelle bats; tiny creatures that are about the size of an adult human thumb.
A special bat box was built in 2009 to encourage more of these fascinating mammals. In July 2019 a total count of 1786 was recorded. Of these 534 came out of the box and rest from the roof of the visitor centre. This is the largest ever reported for a Soprano Pipistrelle roost as part of the Bat Conservation Trust’s National Bat Monitoring Programme.
In 2019 we installed a new camera in the bat box, to observe the bats’ behaviour without disturbing them and to see how many are occupying the structure.
Thank you to Essex Bat Group for their help with this project.
Update May 2020
Unfortunately the bats have enjoyed the box too much this year and our camera is blocked with a layer of guano.
Take a look at our webcam footage from earlier in the year.