143: Build a bat box

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ LOW


You can help protect threatened bat species by providing habitat

There are estimated to be more than 15 million gardens in the UK, covering an area greater than all of the UK’s nature reserves combined. Our gardens and public green spaces are vitally important habitats for wildlife, including bats.

The UK is home to 18 species of bat, and installing a bat box will help local bats, encouraging them to move into areas that have limited roosting space. All our bats are insect-eaters, so having a few flitting around might just make those evenings in the garden a little less buggy!

Source: The Wildlife Trusts

If you are not in the UK, check the status of bats in your own country.

There are some simple instructions for making a bat box at this article by The Wildlife Trusts.

What you need

  • Untreated rough sawn timber
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Tape measure and pencil

Step-by-step guide to putting together your bat box

Reproduced from The wildlife Trusts website linked above, please click for the full sized image.

BAT BOX Wildlife Trusts Instructions
Click for full size image

A couple of things to note are:

  • The ‘bat ladder’ or other landing area leads to an entry slit wide enough to admit bats, but narrow enough to keep out predators, usually 15-20 mm
  • Make sure joints are well sealed and avoid large, loose-fitting front panels – bats hate draughts
  • Do not use removable lids and do not open the box once it is installed.

Remember that in the UK all bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them. Once up, a bat box cannot be opened.

For more information on bats and the law call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228.

Why is this important?

Bats are threatened species. There are fewer wooded areas, ponds and open grass spaces for bats to feed and roost as roads and buildings have now replaced them. These features can also create barriers for some bats. Links to the countryside, like hedges and front gardens that make up green corridors, have been lost or fragmented.

Providing additional habitat can help to maintain an essential biodiversity and protect our ecosystems.

Learn more

We acknowledge information provided by The Wildlife Trusts at

Please click through to their site to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

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