How to Build a Bat House

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Learn how to construct a bat shelter to install in your garden to help welcome more wildlife into your home!

For more ideas to teach children about the importance of biodiversity and protecting wildlife, take a look at some of the bird shelter tutorials in our series.

This video will take you through the process of building a bat shelter through a simple and approachable method that you can try with your family. This fun project will show you that inviting biodiversity into your home needn't be difficult!

Voice-over by volunteer Mollie Keane

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In this video, you will learn how to build a classic shelter for small bats such as pipistrelles.

To build the bat shelter you will need:

a board of untreated wood 6.5 foot long (2 m), a batten, screws or nails and a thread of copper.

You will also need:

A clamp, a measuring tape, a pencil, a shelf bracket, a saw, an electric drill or a hammer and a ladder.

In this video, we will make a shelter 5.1 inches (13 cm) long, 11 inches (28 cm) wide and 14.1 inches (36 cm) high.

Measure, cut and assemble the five pieces according to your desired dimensions. Here we will need:

Two bevelled boards measuring 5.1 inches by 11 inches and 14.1 inches, or 13 cm by 28cm and 36 cm. These will form the sides.

One board measuring 11 by 10.2 inches (or 28 by 26cm) to form the front of the shelter.

One board measuring 11 by 14.1 inches (28 by 36 cm) that will form the back of the shelter,

And one final board measuring 12.5 by 8.2 inch (32 by 21 cm) to make the roof.

Note that the shelter is open at the bottom: the bats will enter through there at dawn.

Saw notches into the inside wall or fix wooden slats to the bottom of the house. This allows the bats to hang upside down more easily, so they can rest.

Leave the wood untreated as bats are sensitive to paint and stained wood.

Put the 5 board together making a partly open shelter. If you wood is thick, pre-drill in it where the screws will be, that will prevent you from spliting it.

Make sure the boards are perfectly joined up so that it is completely dark inside the shelter!

Place the batten in the middle of the back side of the shelter. Your bat shelter is now finished!

Place it with a southern exposure in a very sunny area, between 10 and 20 feet (or 3-6 metres) off the ground.

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