Our Herefordshire Bats

In the UK, 17 species of bats are known to breed, 16 of these have been recorded in Herefordshire. Below we have listed that bats we most frequently have come in to care and which you are most likely to encounter needing our help.


These are our most common and widespread bat species. Two similar species we usually have brought into care are the common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle.

You are most likely to see pipistrelles are as they emerge from their roost around 20 minutes after sunset and fly 2-10m above ground level searching for food which they eat whilst in flight, consuming around 3000 insects a night.

Summer roosts of both common and soprano pipistrelles are usually found in crevices around the outside of often newer buildings, such as behind hanging tiles, soffit and barge or eaves boarding, between roofing felt and roof tiles or in cavity walls. They also roost in tree holes and crevices, and in bat boxes.

Common pipistrelle -Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Bat Stats

  • Size: 35mm - 45mm

  • Forearm length: 30mm - 35mm

  • Wingspan: 200mm-235mm

  • Weight: 3g - 8g

  • Colour: Medium to dark brown. Face and around the eyes usually dark

  • Echolocation: 45- 70kHz

  • Diet: Small flies, midges and mosquitos.

  • Habitats: Woodland, hedgerows, grassland, farmland, suburban and also urban areas.

  • Summer roost colony size: Average around 75 bats. Common pipistrelle maternity colonies are more likely to move between roost sites than those of soprano pipistrelles.

Soprano pipistrelle - Pipistrellus pygmaeus

Bat Stats

  • Size: 35mm - 45mm

  • Forearm length: 29mm - 34mm

  • Wingspan: 190mm - 230mm

  • Weight: 3g - 8g

  • Colour: Medium to dark brown. Face and around the eyes usually pink in colour

  • Echolocation: Between about 55 - 80kHz

  • Diet: Small flies, midges and mosquitos.

  • Habitats: Wetland such as near lakes and rivers, woodland edge, tree lines, hedgerows, suburban and parks.

  • Summer roost colony size: support colonies of an average size of 200 bats but can reach several hundred to over a thousand.

Soprano pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Soprano pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pygmaeus
common pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus
common pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Brown long-eared - Plecotus auritus

Brown long-eared bats are medium-sized British bat and their ears are nearly as long as the body but they curl them ears back like rams’ horns when relaxed.

Their broad wings and tail allow slow, highly manoeuvrable, hovering flight and their highly sensitive low frequency hearing can identify prey from its own movements.

Large prey is eaten from a perch such as porches or barns, which can be identified by discarded insect remains like moth wings gathered on the ground.

Bat Stats

  • Size: 37mm - 52mm

  • Forearm length: 34mm - 42mm

  • Wingspan: 230mm - 285mm Weight: 6g - 12g

  • Colour: Adults have light brown fur, pale underneath; juveniles greyish

  • Echolocation: Between 25 - 50kHz and peak at 35kHz.

  • Diet: Moths, beetles, flies, earwigs and spiders.

  • Habitats: Old buildings, barns, churches and trees, open deciduous and coniferous woodland, parkland and orchards.

  • Summer roost colony size: Around 20

Brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus
Brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus
Whiskered bat - Myotis mystacinus

General Whiskered bats emerge within half an hour of sunset and probably remain active throughout much of the night. They have a fast and fluttering flight, to a height of 20 metres, generally level with occasional swoops. They glide briefly, especially when feeding in the canopy. They frequently fly along a regular route over or alongside a hedgerow or woodland edge.

Bat Stats

  • Size: 35mm – 48mm

  • Forearm length: 30mm – 37mm

  • Wingspan: 210mm – 240mm

  • Weight: 4g – 8g Colour:

  • Colour: Fur dark grey or brown, golden tips on back, greyish underneath.

  • Echolocation: Between 32kHz and 89kHz, sounding loudest at 45kHz.

  • Diet: Moths, other small insects and spiders

  • Habitats: All types of houses particularly older buildings with stone walls and slate roofs, hanging tiles, above soffits, in cavity walls and under ridge tiles, trees and churches, woodland.

Whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus
Whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus
Daubenton’s bat - Myotis daubentonii

Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized species. It has a steady flight, often within a few centimetres of the water surface and is reminiscent of a small hovercraft. Vital statistic

General Daubenton’s bats usually feed within about 6km of the roost, but have been recorded following canals for up to 10km (at speeds of up to 25kph). They usually take insects from close to the water and have even been seen taking prey directly from the water surface, using their large feet as a gaff or the tail membrane as a scoop.

Bat Stats

  • Size: 45mm -55mm

  • Forearm length: 34mm - 41mm

  • Wingspan: 240mm - 275mm

  • Weight: 7g - 12g

  • Colour: Fur red brown, pale underneath. Pinkish face, bare around the eye

  • Echolocation: Between 35 to 85kHz and are loudest at 45 to 50kHz

  • Diet: Small flies (especially chironomid midges), caddisflies and mayflies

  • Habitats: Humid, more or less underground sites near water. These may be tunnels or bridges over canals and rivers, or in caves, mines and cellars, tree-holes.

Daubenton’s bat Myotis daubentonii
Daubenton’s bat Myotis daubentonii
Lesser horseshoe bat - Rhinolophus hipposideros

The lesser horseshoe bat is one of the smaller British species. At rest it hangs with the wings wrapped around the body. It has a complex noseleaf which is related to its particular type of echolocation system.

General In the summer lesser horseshoe bats emerge about half an hour after sunset. The emergence follows a period when the bats fly around within the roost with some appearing outside the roost entrance; presumably they are testing the conditions outside before emergence

Lesser horseshoe bats feed amongst vegetation in sheltered lowland valleys. They rarely fly more than five metres above the ground, frequently circling over favoured areas and often gleaning their prey from branches.

Bat Stats

  • Size: 35mm - 45mm

  • Forearm length: 35mm - 42mm

  • Wingspan: 200mm - 250mm

  • Weight: 5g - 9g

  • Colour: Adults pinky buff-brown, juveniles greyish (until a year old)

  • Echolocation: Around 110kHz

  • Diet: Flies (mainly midges), small moths, caddis flies, lacewings, beetles, small wasps and spiders

  • Habitats: Caves, tunnels, roofs of larger rural houses and stable blocks offering a range of roof spaces and a nearby cellar.

Lesser horseshoe bat  Rhinolophus hipposideros
Lesser horseshoe bat  Rhinolophus hipposideros

Our bat hall of fame