Building homes for people and wildlife this Halloween

Victoria Heights bat roost

At Halloween, many people will have decorations up, be going trick or treating or carving a pumpkin with the family.

One of the most well-known symbols of this time of the year, however, is of course the sight of bats, adorning everything from plush toys to children’s costumes. One of the only true flying mammals, bats are fascinating animals, with over 1,400 species known to us with more being discovered all the time. More than 25 per cent of all mammal species in the UK are bats.

Unfortunately, the bat population in this country has decreased significantly over the last century. This Halloween, Barratt Homes is taking the opportunity to make its residents and buyers aware of our often-misunderstood friends, and what can be done to support their revival.

Nicki Reid, Sales Director at Barratt Homes Exeter, said: “It’s important that we provide homes for wildlife as well as people, and bats are certainly no exception – which is why many of our developments now have bat boxes installed to welcome our nocturnal neighbours”.

At the 5-star housebuilder’s Victoria Heights development near Exeter, things have been taken a step further. With a large and varied bat population in the area, the team installed a large wooden bat roost to encourage five species of bats in Devon such as pipistrelle, long-eared and Natterer’s bat, as well as the very rare greater horseshoe bat.

Nicki continued: “With so many of us appreciating nature now more than ever before, we’re privileged to have these rare and beautiful creatures roosting in the area. The boxes installed here, as well as the bat roost, will provide a crucial boost to the local bat population. This is just part of our ongoing drive to ensure all of our new communities protect and enhance biodiversity and create a green and sustainable environment that we know is important to our buyers”.

While many homes have bat boxes already installed, it’s simple for anyone to build their own homemade habitat for them. They should be secured either on mature trees within hedge-lines, or on houses close to hedgerows and tree-lines. They should generally be installed at least 4-5 metres above the ground on southerly to westerly aspects, sheltered from strong winds. Try and keep them away from street or security lights.

Barratt Homes is building homes throughout the county including at Berry Acres in Paignton, complete with a new owl barn, and Okement Park near Okehampton which has a significant package of wildlife benefits including over 900 metres of hedgehog highways.

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