Welcome to our new 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 2011 to encourage more of these fascinating mammals. In July 2018 a total count of 1773 was recorded. Of these 578 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
We recently 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.
A special thank you to Essex Bat Group for their help with this project and Chelmsford Local Group for the funding.
Wednesday 20th March - First sightings of the bats in the box
Wednesday 15th May - 431 bats counted coming out the box
(counts are taken from 5 points at the visitor centre, so numbers do fluctuate)
Saturday 25th May - First clear sight of a bat pup
Wednesday 29th May - 522 bats counted coming out the box
Sunday 2nd June - 15 bat pups have now been spotted
Sunday 9th June - 20 bat pups counted
(The pups are only really visible when the adults go out to feed around 10pm)
We hold regular bat counts and family bat evenings throughout the summer months. For further details contact Hanningfield visitor centre on 01268 711001.