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Bat Boxes at Priory
At Priory we have been running a small project to see if there is a preference for the type of  bat box used by bats.

In 2009 we made and installed two types of bat box, carefully positioned them to see if the bats prefer one type over another and set up a monitoring regime to record what happened.
Priory Country Park Priory Country Park
The following box types are installed in the park:

The Gwent box is a traditional wedge shaped box with a door that opens for inspection.

• The Kent box is a layered slot design with no opening door.

• Modified Kent type box.

CJM Slot Type box, design supplied by the Vincent Wildlife Trust.

Pete Maul Wedge

• Martin O’Connor Tube

We made the Kent boxes with some local school children as part of a bat awareness campaign (Count Bat), run by the BCT and Bedfordshire Bat Group.

What’s Happened?
Bat Box Project at Priory  2009 (PDF).

Bat Box Project 2011 Update (PDF).

Published Final Analysis and Results of the project (2015)

Additional funding has been received from the Beds Bat Group and the Bat Conservation Trust.
Currently (2011) we have five different designs of bat box installed in the park, making 41 boxes in total. The monitoring continues with the boxes being checked every month.

The results so far have been very interesting, showing:

• All the bats found in the boxes were Common Pipistrelles.

• Slot type boxes have been used in preference to the wedge design.

• The bats tend to use the boxes located in a limited area the park.
Types of Box
MOT, Kent, Gwent boxes. © Daniel Fellman 2011
5 Pips in a Kent box. © Daniel Fellman
out of them as this means the box has to be taken down to fix.

The reason we are using different designs of box in the hope we will encourage different species to use the boxes, such as the Noctule or Daubenton’s pictured below.
7 Pips in a CMJ box. © Daniel Fellman 2011
© Bob Cornes 2009
• Woodpeckers use them to make louder sounds for marking their territory, which damages the box.

Bat boxes may take a longtime before use, however at Priory one CJM box was occupied within 18 days!

Some of our boxes have now been ‘armour plated’ to try and keep the woodpeckers