A water company office is now home to more than 90 soprano pipistrelle bats.

The fishing lodge at Arlington Reservoir is home to South East Water's Environment Team and has been picked by the bats as the perfect spot to raise their young.

Bat’s calls are usually inaudible to human ears, so the Environment Team used a handheld bat detector to listen to the calls and identify how many bats are in the roost and which species they belong to.

Emma Goddard, Head of Environment at South East Water, made the discovery at the end of June: “I noticed that one of the windows was covered in hundreds of bat droppings and when I put my ear against the outside wall I could hear bats moving in the wall cavity.

“We carried out a survey at dusk when the bats were leaving the roost in search of food and found 91 soprano pipistrelle bats in total – an amazing number.

“All British bats feed entirely on insects so Arlington Reservoir provides the perfect feed opportunities for this colony.

“At South East Water, we consider ourselves to be guardians of the environment so it was a real privilege to find these bats and we will continue to monitor this roost every year from now on.”

The soprano pipistrelle bat is one of at least 11 species of bats which forage for insects at Arlington Reservoir, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and local nature reserve.

At South East Water, we consider ourselves to be guardians of the environment so it was a real privilege to find these bats and we will continue to monitor this roost every year from now on."

- Emma Goddard,
Head of Environment

An example of the soprano pipistrelle bat

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