flying-grey-long-eared-bat

Common Bats Found in Brighton and How They Can Affect Property Values

Do you currently live in Brighton or have plans of moving there in the future? If so, you may be interested to learn about the wildlife in the area, which, as you may expect, is varied. Between the mix of regular species you can find and some more unusual, even rare ones, it makes for some wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities.

Something you may not know too much about is the species of bats found in Brighton. So, what are the common bats found in Brighton and, more importantly, how can they affect your property value? Let’s take a closer look so you have all the facts.

Brown Long-Eared (Plecotus auritus)

This particular species is classified as medium-sized, making it a little easier to spot than some of the smaller species. Not only that, but it’s distinguishable by its massive ears that measure almost the same length as its entire body. A few things to note about this species:

  1. They are most commonly spotted at night
  2. They often eat their prey in flight
  3. They tend to fly low and often hover
  4. They roost in summer
  5. Roosts can be found in trees, churches, barns and other buildings

Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)

If you were to name the most common species of bat here in Brighton, or anywhere in the UK for that matter, it would be the Common Pipistrelle. There’s a good chance you’ve seen one before; however, it should be noted that they are very small. It’s their large population that makes it more likely you’ve seen one. The best chance of spotting one is about 20 minutes after sunset.

Some interesting facts about this species include:

  1. They roost in bat boxes, crevices and tree holes
  2. They fly extremely fast
  3. They look erratic in flight, darting from side to side and twisting
  4. They prey on small insects

Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus)

If you’ve ever seen a big bat, it may have been the Serotine, which tends to be the first one to come out at night. It tends to look very relaxed in flight, has a large wingspan and is known for its sudden steep descents. Some facts about the Serotine include:

  1. They like to roost in old buildings that have cavity walls
  2. They are not typically found in modern buildings
  3. Large beetles are their favourite prey
  4. They tend to fly at tree-top height making it easy for them to catch prey

Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)

Even bigger is the Noctule, which also likes to come out at sunset. This species is distinguishable by its wings which are pointed and narrow. It looks very powerful in flight and tends to keep a direct course without twists and turns. Interesting facts about the Noctule include:

  • They prey on moths, beetles, midges and other insects – dependent on the time of the season
  • They like flying in the open
  • They will do a steep dive to catch prey
  • They roost in woodpecker holes, rot holes and trees

It’s Not an Exhaustive List

It’s also important to note that these are just the most common bats to spot in Brighton; it’s not an exhaustive list. All species of bats have been spotted at some point in the area, but some are known to be very rare.

What to Do If You Think You Have Bats On Your Property

While it may be neat to learn about the local bats and even catch a glimpse of them, what happens if the bats are calling your house and your property home? Where it becomes an issue is if you plan on developing the property or carrying out any construction work. Perhaps you’re even in the process of submitting a planning application.

Here in the UK, all native species of bats are legally protected, which means you cannot disturb or harm the bats in their roosts. The consequences are severe as this is a criminally prosecutable offence which carries a steep fine. This is exactly why it’s important to have a bat survey conducted by a professional bat surveyor.

Arbtech is a company that is employed by professionals, including ecologists, who can draw up a protected species survey of your property. They can discuss the difference between a preliminary roost assessment/scoping bat survey (stage 1) and a bat emergence survey (stage 2) and suggest which one is right for your needs. Keep in mind that stage one is an internal and external inspection and isn’t limited to a certain time of the year only, whereas the stage 2 survey must be done at dawn or dusk between May and September.

A good tip to follow is to have a bat survey done if you plan on impacting the trees, buildings and other areas of the property where roosts could be located.

How Do Bats Affect Your Property Value?

Now to the question of property value, which is something that homeowners are often interested to learn. Even if you have no plans of selling your house, it’s still comforting to know you’ve made a sound investment.

It should be noted that you can sell a house even if there are bats currently living in it, but you need to disclose this information to the buyer. The simple fact is that it can make selling your property a little harder, and that can negatively affect the property value. That’s not always going to be the case, but there is that possibility.

A small number of bats in or on the property likely affect the value, or will do so very minimally. The value tends to drop if it’s a large noticeable colony and/or it has caused damage to the house or property.

Plenty to Learn About This Creature

Bats are very interesting creatures with each species having distinct characteristics. There is plenty to learn about them, their habitat, their roosting habits and how they may affect your property and property value. Because they are protected animals across the UK, it’s all about learning to co-exist with them and making sure their numbers are protected.

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