Walks give insight into a batty world

PUBLISHED: 11:56 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 June 2010

Launch of a new bat walk at Peckover House, Wisbech. Pictured: searching for bats in the grounds of Peckover House is Dr Stuart Warrington.
PHOTO: IAN BURT
COPY:Annabelle Dickson
FOR:EDP News
EDP pics © 2009
(01603)772434

Launch of a new bat walk at Peckover House, Wisbech. Pictured: searching for bats in the grounds of Peckover House is Dr Stuart Warrington. PHOTO: IAN BURT COPY:Annabelle Dickson FOR:EDP News EDP pics © 2009 (01603)772434

Archant © 2009

ARMED with a bat detector, Peckover House visitors caught a glimpse of mysterious mammals as they embarked on the first ever bat walk in the Georgian merchant house in Wisbech. As the bats, who have made their home in the town house, prepared for hibernat

ARMED with a bat detector, Peckover House visitors caught a glimpse of mysterious mammals as they embarked on the first ever bat walk in the Georgian merchant house in Wisbech.

As the bats, who have made their home in the town house, prepared for hibernation, the informative walk gave visitors an insight into the habits of bats and the best ways to spot them.

The walkers set off as the sun went down with National Trust conservation advisor Stuart Warrington on Wednesday, using the detector to seek out the calls of the bats.

Dr Warrington said: "If you stand gazing up at the sky in the gap between the trees you can see them silhouetted against the evening sky."

"It's a nice event because it's something different, especially to come out at night time to the house."

But he said the main purpose of the evening was to raise people's awareness of bats.

"The idea is to get out into the garden and to try to catch a glimpse of the bats in the trees. They fly fast in between the trees canopies"

"This time of year is quite good for seeing bats because they are feeding up furiously.

"They go into hibernation in the cold north because they feed on insects.

"There will be all sorts of places in the town where they will hibernate. They will make places in an undisturbed including under bridges and in cellars. It is very hard to find out where they go though.

"They are quite happy in a suburban-semi", he said. But added that old houses like Peckover had more cracks in the bricks for them to hide in."

There are also brown long-eared bats in the tea rooms at the house.

Dr Warrington works at many of the houses around the region advising about how bats can be protected.

"Bats are protected by law - we have to take account of their needs in anything we do", he said. Many of the National Trust houses have everything the bat wants - buildings, lakes and parks. We make the assumption that bats will be in our properties."

Throughout the summer the walks have been taking place at National Trust houses across the region. The walk at Wisbech is likely to be the last one of the season as they will shortly be going into hibernation for winter.


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