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Where is the best place to fit a bat box?

Sent in by Joan Matthews, Belper

It is an excellent idea to try to help bats by providing safe roosting sites. These have disappeared in many areas mainly due to the loss of mature trees.

Bat boxes can be placed on walls though as well as trees and are best placed in areas where you know bats fly. Sheltered positons are more to their liking but they do need a clear flight path. South facing is probably the best direction and as high as possible, but at least 5m (15 feet) from the ground.

Three boxes can be sited on one tree, but make sure they face different directions - north, south-east and south-west are ideal.

Bat boxes should never be treated with preservatives, but they need to be rain-proof and draught free. Try to get one which has the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo, ensuring that it is from a sustaninable source. For information on buying a bat box for your garden from the RSPB, click here

Once the bat box is in position it is better to leave it alone. In fact bats and their roosts are fully protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act so it is illegal to disturb them.

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