Our climate is changing. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that this is largely due to anthropogenic activities and is also largely irreversible. We must clearly do all that we can to reduce our negative impact on our planet’s climate, but we must also prepare for the impacts that we cannot change. The Back from the Brink Grey Long-eared Bat and Limestone’s Living Legacies projects are working together to fulfil this aim.

Climate change has always been, and always will be a significant influencing factor on life’s speciation and extinction. We must reduce the human impact on biodiversity loss, avoiding unpredictable disruptions that have unforeseen circumstances. Biodiversity has always been a dynamic entity, and modern biodiversity conservation does not seek to maintain a static state but aims to allow semi-natural processes to continue whilst aiming to avoid dramatic ecological collapses.

What is currently happening with global insect populations, may have devastating impacts on our entire planets’ biodiversity as well as our global economy. The fact remains that so much of our economy is heavily reliant on healthy natural ecosystems, of which individual species are the building blocks. Nature provides the foundation for a vast array of services, from medicine to food crops, clean drinking water to crop pollination, flood mitigation to carbon sequestration.

The grey long-eared bat is one tiny piece of the puzzle, but managing the landscape for grey long-eared bat’s provides a multitude of benefits for other species. The species rich grasslands that they require, as well as all important hedgerow connectivity throughout the landscape, benefits other bats, birds and insects and provides a range of other ecosystem services as mentioned above.

(c) Hugh Clark, www.bats.org.uk

The grey long-eared bat is a warm weather bat, currently restricted to the south of England, most likely restricted by suitable foraging habitat as well as climatic suitability. The research suggests that this species’ range will shift northwards in response to a changing climate, so these two Back from the Brink projects are working collaboratively to ensure that this species has suitable foraging habitat to move into. This is just one example of how Back from the Brink’s collective approach will benefit a multitude of species for the long term.

Craig Dunton

Grey long-eared bat Project Officer



Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.


5 thoughts on “Biodiversity and the Grey Long-eared Bat

    1. Hi Steve,
      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I’m not sure what it is that you are currently doing, but the key important things for this species are increased and improved foraging areas (primarily species rich grassland and wet meadows/riparian habitats) and enhanced connectivity (linear features like hedgerows, watercourses and woodland edges). Please do email me on cdunton@bats.org.uk to chat more and perhaps arrange a site visit if you’re in the project area.

  1. I am currently in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme with small fields,overgrown hedges and extensive pastures.I hope this will help.Can you suggest ways in which I can do more to help bats in general.

    1. Hi Roger,
      Sorry for slow reply! That’s great that your land is in Stewardship, it sounds like you’re already doing great things and providing fantastic bat habitat. A few other things that you could think about (if you’re not already):
      Increase/enhance areas of species rich grassland, particularly throughout the summer months, letting flowering plants flower and seed, to increase invertebrate numbers and long-term diversity.
      Reduce inputs (pesticides, fertilisers etc) and think carefully about parasite management (particularly avermectins).
      Think about any external lighting on the farm that may impact bat foraging/flyways.
      Perhaps put up some bat boxes (not for grey long-eared but for other species) and think about other roosting sites within buildings/trees.
      Please do email me if you’d like to chat further (cdunton@bats.org.uk) and perhaps arrange a site visit if you’re in the project area.

  2. Hello Craig,
    You may know already that a grey log eared bat has been recorded this year roosting in Eldin House in Exmouth. It was discovered by Tamar Ecology Ltd in a study associated with property developement involving disturbance & destruction of the existing roof loft bat roost site. Mitigation measures are included in the consultant’s study. It was designated as a species of significance at County level by the study but I feel that they have underestimated the biodiversity value which, given the bat’s restricted distribution, I think should be should be designated at national level.
    My own preference would be leave this very rare species undisturbed but this is very unlikely to happen.
    Jim Scullion

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