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Category:  Ecology News  - added:

Batty Halloween!

Bats have always had an association with Halloween. Stacked along supermarket shelves this time of year amongst all the pumpkins, skeletons and witches, you’ll find bat toys, batty sweets, batty chocolate, bat Halloween costumes and other bat paraphernalia!

The story goes that long ago, on Halloween, people would gather together around giant bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Attracted to the bright light of these fires were many small flying insects, which in turn attracted bats. Seeing the bats flickering in and out of the firelight during the festivals meant they became a feature of Halloween lore, and of course Dracula used to be portrayed as turning into a bat to get around at night!

However, bats don’t deserve this bad reputation. They don’t suck your blood (with the exception of Vampire bats, but we don’t have those in the UK), they don’t get tangled in your hair, they are not blind and they are not flying rodents. They are in fact amazing little creatures who are such an important part of the natural ecosystem, that to lose them would be a disaster.

Thankfully this has been realised, and when bat numbers dramatically declined in the 1970 and 80’s a law was passed to protect them. They are now a European Protected Species meaning it is illegal to intentionally kill, harm or injure a bat. You are also not allowed to disturb bats or their roosts, unless you are licensed and qualified to do so.

Cornwall Environmental Consultants, the trading arm of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, have a team of such people – the Bat Team we like to call them – who are experienced, qualified and more importantly licensed to deal with bats. This includes undertaking surveys to assess if bats are using a building, providing mitigation solutions and obtaining licences so that works can commence on a building or a development site.

Senior Bat Ecologist, Steve Marshall says;

“Now that winter is approaching, bats are getting ready for hibernation but we can still determine if they are present within a building during this time. It’s so important to make sure a bat survey is done before works start on a building or development, because bats need all the help they can get – they have such a stigma attached to them as horrible evil little creatures when in truth they are harmless and extremely cute!”

So remember – bats are good. They will cause you no harm and will not damage your property. Also remember that when applying for planning permission, there is a chance you’ll be asked to have a bat ecologist undertake a bat assessment. If that’s the case, remember Cornwall Environmental Consultants’ bat team! Call 01872 245510 or email

Protected Species - Pipistrelle bat - copyright Amy Lewis

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