Though important and charismatic animals, bats are believed to have declined majorly over the last fifty years and face a wide variety of challenges in the UK. One factor that is thought to have impacted populations is the reduction of suitable nesting crevices that has arisen from developments in the building process. This is a problem for a variety of species that would otherwise roost in our urban areas. For this reason, it is important to provide artificial nesting sites to support future populations.
The Lela bat box is designed to provide a roosting space for several crevice species, including the brown long eared bat and our most commonly encountered species, the Pipistrelle. It features two internal crevices, separated by a woodstone divider, that create a varied set of internal microclimates, allowing the inhabitants to choose the most suitable place to roost. It is constructed from wood-concrete, a blend of concrete and wood fibres that is both more durable and long lasting than a timber box and lighter than a concrete roost. It has excellent thermal properties, ensuring that the box remains warm on cold nights, and is breathable, helping to reduce the risk of overheating during hot summers. It's rough texture is perfect for bats to cling to.
The Lela has twin entrances facing downwards at the base of the box, ensuring that no upkeep is required. It should be mounted externally on buildings, at least 3m from the ground and away from full sun, the prevailing wind, and sources of artificial light. Bats prefer to change roosts to benefit from varying ambient temperatures, so bat boxes should ideally be clustered in small groups.