Make a bat box (step-by-step)

How to make a bat box

Follow these easy steps to create a cosy roost for bats.

Do it:

Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Takes just:

two hours

Bat boxes are designed to mimic natural bat roosts.

They usually consist of narrow slits that bats can crawl into. Bats don’t like draughts, so make sure all joints are secure. They also need rough-textured wood to cling onto – if you can’t find rough-sawn timber, then use the teeth of a saw on its side to create a rough surface.

Follow these steps to create your own bat box.

You will need

  • Plank of rough-sawn untreated wood 160cm x 20cm x 2cm (L x W x D)
  • 40mm nails
  • Hammer
  • Pencil, wood saw, ruler

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Measure the wood. You'll need four lengths: 58cm, 30cm, 20cm and 15cm. Using the remaining wood from the plank, measure the batons – you'll need two 30cm x 2cm x 2cm and two 20cm x 2cm x 2cm.

Cut the wood, using a saw or jigsaw. Sand any rough edges to remove any splinters. Drill a hole near the top of the largest piece of wood – you’ll use this to attach it to the wall.

Leaving 10cm below the hole, nail the 30cm wooden battens to either side of the 20cm x 58cm piece of wood.

Bats don’t like draughts, so make sure all joints are secure. 

Nail the 20cm x 30cm wood on top of the 30cm batons and repeat with the 20cm baton pieces.

Nail the 20cm x 20cm piece of wood to the 20cm length batons. Then attach the 15cm piece as a roof so it covers the wooden pieces completely and doesn’t allow water in. For extra weather protection, attach a piece of roof flashing to the top. Fix the box under the eaves of your house in a sunny but sheltered spot.

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Kate Bradbury

Kate Bradbury says

If your garden is too small to accommodate roosting or nesting bats, you can still do your bit to help them – simply create habitats for the insects they eat. A pond makes the perfect breeding ground for many species of insect, while shrubs and flowering plants provide food and shelter. The more insects you cater for, the more food there is for bats.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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