The Norfolk Bat Group is a voluntaray wildlife conservation group
focussing on the conservation of wild bats within the English county of
Norfolk. The Norfolk group were first formed in 1961 and were the first
of the present day ninety county based bat groups in the UK.
Site copyright © The Norfolk Bat Group
Our smallest and most common
bat is the Pipistrelle. These are essentially bats of buildings and can be seen at dusk
in the centre of Norwich, in the towns, villages and countryside throughout the county.
In the summertime all pregnant female bats form maternity colonies, where they produce a
single baby. Pipistrelles choose chalet bungalows, houses ancient and modern as well
as the more traditional sites of churches and barns. These breeding colonies usually
form in May or June, the young being born in July and the mothers and adolescent offspring
begin to disperse when the babies are weaned by the end of August subject to the prevailing
summer weather conditions. The largest reported colony in recent years was 700 in the
Waveney valley, but an average sized group these days (away from the broads and river
valleys with their extra abundance of flying insect food) is 30 70. This sized colony
could fit into a space not much larger than a house brick and crevices and spaces in brickwork
or roof timbers are where they prefer to be. It is most unusual in East Anglia to actually be
able to see Pipistrelles where they are hiding during daylight hours even with the aid of a
torch in a roof space. Hibernation for Pipistrelles does not start in earnest until Christmas
when the weather really starts to get frosty. They will not normally be present in their
summertime haunts, but will be deep into the brickwork or flints of old barns and churches
or behind loose plaster or deep in cracked timber, wherever there is a constant cool
temperature and high humidity. Timber treatment, re roofing, house extensions and renovations
as well as frightened or concerned householders and church authorities generate over one hundred
enquiries locally each year which "English Nature" and the Norfolk and Suffolk Bat Group members
deal with, helping people with bat problems, and occasionally vice versa !
Recent work has suggested that the bat we still call the "common
pipistrelle" should be split into two species. The reason for this is that
some bats call at about 45 KHz and others at about 55 KHz. There also seem
to be slightly differences in face colour and behaviour. However, if you do
not own a detector it really is rather difficult to distinguish the two sorts apart!
There is still an enormous amount to learn about the habits and distribution of these understudied
and misunderstood animals and everyone is encouraged to help with this task by reporting any found
or seen, and to encourage the conservation of known roosting sites.
We are aware of certain consultants and government agencies downloading and using this data and
passing it off as their own work.
Permission for reproduction of material from the NBG web site is required from anyone and everyone. Any further
copyright lapses will be listed on this website with names and organisation then the relevant ISP
informed that a breach of copyright has occurred.