Show your appreciation for our bat population in Milton Keynes, experts urge

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You can even join a special nighttime bat walk

People are invited to hang out with MK’s resident bats to mark national Bat Appreciation Day.

The Parks Trust is organising special nighttime bat-spotting walks to give people a chance to spot the furry flying mammals.

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Milton Keynes has a large bat population and popular habitats are Walton Lake, Great Linford Manor Park, Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve, Furzton Lake and along the Grand Union Canal.

Bats are plentiful in Milton KeynesBats are plentiful in Milton Keynes
Bats are plentiful in Milton Keynes

There is even a handy online guide available so local people can spot the seven different species.

Bats, which are the only true flying mammal in the world, are just waking up from their winter hibernation this month.

A spokesperson for The Parks Trust said: “The popular Bat Walks are led by knowledgeable Parks Trust guides and offer a great opportunity to discover the diverse wildlife found in the city’s parkland, particularly the healthy local bat population. Attendees will witness bats in their natural environment while growing an appreciation and understanding of the nocturnal creatures - when and where to see them, their behaviours and how to identify them.”

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Tickets for the limited series of walks will be on sale from 9am on Bat Appreciation Day, which is tomorrow (Wednesday).

The walks are at Walton Lake on Friday April 26, Shenley Wood on Friday May 10, Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve on Wednesday May 29 and Caldecotte Lake on Friday June 14.

Carla Boswell, Biodiversity Officer at The Parks Trust says “Bat Walks are such an exciting way to introduce more of our local community to these incredible flying mammals, highlighting the importance of bats and their direct impact on our lives and the surrounding natural world.

“In Milton Keynes, we are fortunate to have a diverse array of wildlife, with bats playing a crucial role in the local environment. At The Parks Trust, our efforts focus on protecting the various local species, utilising box monitoring in the ancient woodlands and conducting surveys to enhance their habitat connections across the city's landscape.”

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There are over 1,400 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. They account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide.

Species found in Milton Keynes include the Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Brown Long-Eared, Noctule, Myotis Daubenton's, Serotine and Natterer's.

All bats are protected by UK law to prevent predation, habitat loss, and disturbance. People are committing a criminal offence if they deliberately take, injure or kill a wild bat, intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or damage a place used by bats for breeding or resting.

They are even committing an offence if they Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost, for example by carrying out home improvements that cause disturbances in a loft space.

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If you're interested in learning how The Parks Trust protects local species through activities such as box monitoring and surveys, or how you can personally contribute to conserving populations and their habitats, visit the Trust’s bat page for more information.

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