Colour in the Margins is one of the many projects that is running under Back from the Brink, and whilst we are primarily focusing on 10 plant species, there are many secondary species that will benefit from our work with rare arable species, including 5 UK bat species - from the Soprano Pipistrelle to the Lesser Horseshoe Bat.

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I’d share a little about each of these brilliant bat species and how you can help conserve them.

First up, we have the Soprano Pipistrelle.
This species is active between March and November, and can eat up to 3,000 insects a night! Generally, Pipistrelles are Britain’s smallest bat, brown in colour and have a fast “jerky” flight. Their population has declined in the last few decades, partly as a result of modern agricultural practices.

Next, we have the Brown Long-eared Bat. This bat's huge ears provide exceptionally sensitive hearing - it can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf! They love moths, beetles, flies, earwigs and spiders – which they often eat in flight but the larger insects are taken to a “perch” usually found inside barns or porches.

The Grey Long-eared Bat is another species that is on the Colour in the Margins list – they are generally a little larger than the Brown Long-eared Bat and have a dark face.

They are only found in a few places in Southern England – not much is known about the habitat use of this species but recent radio-tracking studies have shown that they tend to forage over meadows and grasslands, up to 6km away from the roost. This species also has its own project within Back from the Brink, it’s that rare, and you can find out more here.

Greater Horseshoe Bat is one of our largest bat species, the size of a small pear!

Gareth Jones, BCT.

It is rare in Britain and is now confined to south-west England and south Wales. It is estimated that numbers of this species has declined by over 90% in the last 100 years - due to factors such as disturbance of roosts and intensive agricultural practices including loss of permanent pasture.

The Lesser Horseshow Bat is the last of the five species we are trying to conserve – this species is able to wrap its wings completely around its body while at rest, differing from the greater horseshoe bat whose face can usually be seen. They only weigh between 5 and 9g and are only the size of a plum -  one of the smallest British species!

If you want to know more about what Colour in the Margins is doing to help these species, take a look at our web page here, or why not follow us on social media @naturebftb.

If you want to find out more about UK bat species, please visit the Bat Conservation Trust website -


Zoe Morrall

Outreach Officer for Colour in the Margins.



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.