On 19 June 2018, Warwickshire Bat Group visited Abbey Fields to carry out a survey of some of the bat boxes which had been installed in 2003 and in subsequent years. (See here for further details).
The survey was led by Tricia Scott from Warwickshire Bat Group and she was accompanied by Si Phillips. Also in attendance were Jane Puzey and Eve Fleming.
The purpose of the survey was to check a number of the bat boxes that had been provided by Friends of Abbey Fields to determine if they had been occupied by bats. To do this it is necessary to access and open the boxes. Only people with the appropriate licence, which is issued by the government organisation Natural England, are allowed to open the boxes. Both Tricia Scott and Si Phillips have the licences.
In the course of the evening eight bat boxes, from different locations in Abbey Fields, were examined. None of these were found to contain bats. However, three had signs of hornet occupation and six had signs of bird occupation. Occupancy rates of bat boxes vary enormously, depending on type, location, age and other available roosting places and there are a number of other bat boxes in Abbey Fields in addition to the many natural roosting opportunities. The other boxes were not checked because they were placed very high up and as the trees and undergrowth have grown they have become increasingly inaccessible.
Although bats were not found on this occasion it does not mean that there are no bats in Abbey Fields – as you will see in the report of our 2018 Bat Walk.
Article and photos by David Emsley.