Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Grey Long-eared Bat

Plecotus austriacus

Females have
pup a year
maternity colonies left in England
Only about
bats left in the UK

What is a Grey Long-eared Bat?

These enchanting little creatures are among the UK’s rarest mammals. They are intelligent animals which hunt for moths and other insects by night over wildflower meadows along the south coast of England. They are long-lived and social, the females giving birth to their single babies in maternity roosts. But there could be as few as 1,000 of these bats left, and we know their numbers are still falling.

Why are they in trouble?

The kind of grassland these bats need has been lost from most of our countryside in the last century, and the elements they require in the landscape have become more fragmented. This makes it more difficult for them to find safe routes between their roosts and the places where they can find food, and so, they are struggling to survive.

How we will help the Grey Long-eared Bat

This Back from the Brink project, led by the Bat Conservation Trust, will work with landowners to discover how to retain and enhance the precious habitats that the bats need. We want to find ways to connect the patches that remain, and keep these grasslands in good health.

We want to inspire people to provide the bats with a secure home. We will give talks, walks and farm open days to help people understand these animals and what they need. And we’ll provide support and advice to help them to achieve it. We’ll also work with local authorities to ensure the needs of these bats are considered in planning how land is used.

What we’re aiming for

By the end of the project, we aim to have raised understanding of Grey Long-eared Bats and their needs, making sure they have good quality habitat. This species is an indicator of the health of these landscapes, and this work is essential to prevent it from being lost.

How to get involved

Can you help us to monitor the Grey Long-eared Bats, or can you help to ensure they have the habitat they desperately need?

You can get the latest news, and find out more about upcoming events, by following the links below.

Project timeline

Autumn 2020

Virtual events and online engagement aimed to inspire and engage a wider audience. Landowner engagement and ground preparation for late autumn/winter habitat restoration.

Winter 2020-21

The last winter of overseeding at grassland restoration sites. Planning and preparation for further landowner engagement focused on the central project area.

Spring 2021

Landowner engagement sessions focused on habitat connectivity at the landscape scale. Ground preparation and sowing of seed at further grassland restoration sites. Preparation for final season of roost and habitat monitoring.

Summer 2021

Roost and habitat restoration site monitoring. Project closure, final reporting and legacy put in place.

Project contact

Craig Dunton

Project Officer
07807 215270


Back from the Brink Innovations Conference Presentation

Species Recovery and Management - Farmland and Bareground

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