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We love our wildlife here at Hestercombe, and we’ve some regular visitors who make themselves at home each year in the visitor centre. We were really excited to be asked by The University of Bristol to help with their research into finding out how light pollution affects bat populations. The university team visited Hestercombe so they could tag the bats, and see the effects on behaviour and wellbeing that light pollution has on our little winged friends. Thanks to a licence from Natural England, the researchers are examining how LED security lights alter the emergence behaviour and roosting behaviour of lesser horseshoe bats at roosts. The buildings and grounds of Hestercombe have always been the home to a variety of bat species, including the lesser horseshoe bat (pictured). Bats are most active at night when they hunt for their insect prey, which they do using a super­-sophisticated sort of echolocation. All our visitors can come and see the roosting bats when it’s the right time, via a live video link in the visitor centre. If you’d like to find out more about the bat study – just click the link here http://www.batsandlighting.co.uk/
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