If you’re a site manager or buyer or architect, the selection of bird boxes now on the market can be overwhelming. With an ever greater focus on low-impact construction, they are very often a requirement for planning while your priority is finishing the build on-schedule. Whether you’re in planning, or halfway up the wall, we’ve listed some of our favourites below to help you choose the most suitable bat boxes for your build.
Bats in Buildings
There are 18 species of bat that can be found in the UK and all have been known to use buildings in a similar way to how they would roost in natural habitats. The most common species found in buildings are crevice dwellers, such as Pipistrelles, so boxes built into the wall attempt to mimic these crevices. It is also common to find cavity dwelling species in the roof void or cellars. The Bat Conservation Trust have published Bats In Buildings guidance, which is a helpful resource for built-environment professionals looking to learn more.
To make the most of a crevice style bat box, it is advised to place it over 3 meters high up the wall. Make sure there is a clear flight path below, it is not easily accessed by potential predators, and it receives some direct sunlight to keep it warm during the day.
Remember, all bat species in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017), making it an offence to deliberately or recklessly kill, harm or injure a bat, or to disturb or destroy their roosts.
Woodcrete Bat Boxes
Woodcrete, or Woodstone, is a specially designed material made from a mixture of sawdust and concrete. It is a durable, weather-resistant material that provides excellent insulation for the bats inside. Take a look at our blog; 'What is Woodcrete?' for more information about this material and its benefits
If you need a bat box to be either bricked in or rendered over into the building façade then the Woodcrete Schwegler 2FR is ideal. It is a modified version of Schwegler 1FR. Formed by installing a row of several units side-by-side, colony roosts can be created with any size required.
Designed to be built into a wall with the entrance face at the front, remaining exposed and visible.
The Segovia Build-In Woodstone Bat Box can be integrated into new buildings or building renovations, as well as having the advantage of being flush with the facade or it can be slightly recessed in the facade.
The 1FE is especially suitable for use during conversions, renovations, or insulation work on older types of buildings and historic buildings. With a depth of just 8cm, the unit can easily be integrated into the building and rendered.
Adding the optional backplate changes the unit into a standalone bat box and no longer provides access to the wall cavity. Instead, the wooden panel creates a cavity inside the box.
The Schwegler 1WI Winter Bat Roost has been designed for the safe hibernation of bats in winter as well as for summer roosting.It's is a great example of just how easy it is to assist bats in urban areas. The combination of several, effective insulating materials in a layer structure ensures that the box maintains a good habitat, but still guarantees sufficient air-convection and permeability. The extremely durable material will last many decades, providing shelter for the bats.
Concrete Bat Boxes
Concrete bat boxes are very durable and are also to install and maintain. They often allow the option for facing in any material to perfectly match the design of the build for a seamless finish.
The Habibat Bat Box is a large, solid box made of insulating concrete which provides an internal roost space, and can be seamlessly integrated into the fabric of a building as it is built or renovated. Suitable for most species commonly found in the UK, this single chambered unit features an integrated V system to increase the surface for bats to roost against, whilst allowing them to move around.
The Habibat Bat Box can be faced with a number of products to suit the design build including, brick, block, stone, wood or a rendered finish, ensuring the box is unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing.
The Bat Block bat brick is designed to create roosting space for crevice dwelling bats within the framework of new builds. A simple, stylish way to help protect our Bat species and provide hibernation or maternity roosting space for them. Features an internal FSC certified wooden panel, a small entrance space to deter larger birds and predators and is standard UK block size. Available in white and charcoal grey colours.
The BatBlock has been developed with the BCT as part of the ROOST Partnership, and 10% of sales revenue from this product is donated to the BCT through Wildcare.
To accommodate summer roosting pipistrelles in new builds or as part of a conservation project then the Ibstock Enclosed Bat Box B is the ideal discrete, frost-free, maintenance-free, and aesthetically pleasing solution. Available off the shelf from Wildcare in either red or buff, or can be faced in any Ibstock brick of your choosing. Two size options are also available; 215 x 215mm or 215 x 290mm
Similar to the Ibstock Bat Box B above, but smooth faced with an attractive bat emblem. Again, Wildcare stock options in both smooth red and smooth buff brick, and both the 215 x 215 and 215 x 290 size options. Facing to match an Ibstock brick of your choice is also possible.
Though not as long lasting, timber and plastic bat boxes can often be more cost effective and more widely available compared to concrete or woodcrete.
Unique to Wildcare, the Soffit Bat Box is ideal if you want to utilise the wasted space above the soffit on a standard roof structure. It is virtually invisible, with only a 20mm entrance slot needing to be cut into the soffit board. The Soffit Bat box is constructed by our partner RAW Workshop, who manufacture wood products with life-changing social impact.
An ecologically friendly solution, made in the UK, for accommodating bat species in three colour options; brick red, black and green. The external shell is constructed from UV stabilised recycled plastic and the inner is made from FSC Certified orientated strand board (OSB). It is equally well suited to brick walls, timber cladding, stone, or external insulation.
A cavity option is also available for void-dwellers such as long-eared bats and noctule.