Act for bats!

Monday 11 July 2016

Gardeners urged to take action to help the stars of the night

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Bat Conservation Trust and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to launch a new competition to identify the best insect-friendly plant display in the country. Bats need insects and so gardeners are being urged to consider this wonderful nocturnal mammal when making planting choices – to help sustain bats in the future.

Plant a bat feast! competition heralds the start of a campaign to improve the fortunes of the UK’s bats - it runs from 11th July until the 6th November 2016. It is easy to enter: simply choose a range of insect-friendly plants, watch them grow and send us a photo!

While bats can be found in the most rural and urban of settings, most of us are unaware of them and why these endearing creatures need our help to survive.

Advice and inspiration to attract and support bats in your garden can be found in the new FREE booklet and online guide: Stars of the Night – working together to create a ‘batty’ neighbourhood. You can read the new guide here or see the accompanying pdf. This booklet draws on the partners’ combined gardening and nature conservation expertise. It contains:

  • Great ideas for laying on a bat banquet in your garden, balcony or window-box
  •  Details of which bats are most likely to visit your garden and how to listen for them
  • A seasonal guide to what bats are doing throughout the year
  • Advice on reducing outdoor lighting - floodlit gardens are detrimental to bats

The Wildlife Trusts, Bat Conservation Trust and RHS hope to inspire gardeners and wildlife lovers everywhere - in town and country - to go batty this summer. In the autumn, in time for Halloween, the partnership will celebrate bats with a specially-themed Wild About Gardens Week which will run from 24th – 30th October and include:

  • A week-long series of bat festivities and events (or organise one of your own)
  • The conclusion of the Plant a bat feast competition
  • Lots of different activities that everyone can join in with
  • All information on www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk  
     

-Ends-

Notes to editors

Contact:
Emma Robertshaw, The Wildlife Trusts erobertshaw@wildlifetrusts.org 01636 670015
Sarah Buckingham sbuckingham@wildlifetrusts.org 01636 670017

Garfield Myrie, RHS, garfieldmyrie@rhs.org.uk 0207 821 3060 / 07590 930047

Joe Nunez-Mino, Bat Conservation Trust JNunez-Mino@bats.org.uk 0207 820 7168

Editor’s notes
Wild About Gardens
The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS set up Wild About Gardens www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk in 2009 and Wild About Gardens Week in 2013. It is an annual celebration of wildlife gardening and provides a focus to encourage people to use their gardens and take action to help support wildlife. Over the past 50 years we've seen declines in two thirds of the UK’s plant and animal species, for a range of reasons, including loss of habitat. Many of our common garden species - hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are increasingly endangered. Gardens have enormous potential to act as mini-nature reserves. There are 15 million gardens in the UK, estimated to cover about 270,000 hectares – more than the area of all the National Nature Reserves in the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts www.wildlifetrusts.org 
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We care for around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves welcome millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working with local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.

About the RHS www.rhs.org.uk/join
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.
The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing over 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening.

Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk
BCT are the leading NGO solely devoted to the conservation of bats and the landscapes on which they rely. We work closely with many organisations including over 100 bat groups across the UK. Bats are unique and play a vital role in our environment but during the last century bat populations suffered severe declines. We are working o secure the future of bats in our ever changing world by tackling the threats to bats, from persecution to loss or roosts and changing land use. As the authoritative voice for bat conservation we work locally, nationally, across Europe and internationally.
 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

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