British bat populations have been declining for some time, largely due to habitat loss and disturbance. Populations take time to recover due to their reproduction rate, with females giving birth to a single pup a year. Bats hibernate during the winter months (usually November to February) and may start to emerge in March depending upon the weather. During May the females will start to gather in maternity colonies and look for suitable nursery roost sites. Their young will remain with the mother, feeding on her milk for about six weeks, when they will start to feed for themselves. By August the maternity colonies will have dispersed and the bats may move to mating roosts.
The bat populations of the Strettons are little understood, and this project has been initiated to identify roost sites and gain an understanding of population dynamics locally.
The aim of the project is to carry out surveys around the Strettons to determine roost locations for local bat species, and provide survey results to SACWG, Church Stretton Town Council, Shropshire Council and Shropshire Bat Group. It is hoped that this work will aid in the conservation of bat species and protect their roost sites.
In 2023 there will be a pilot survey. This will be done initially by Julie Cowley alongside the Swifts in the Strettons project. Anyone wishing to join in should contact Julie Cowley .