Bats are nocturnal mammals, taking to the air at night to catch prey such as mosquitoes and midges. During the day they roost in quiet, undisturbed places such as caves, tree holes and the gaps beneath bark on old trees. They may also roost in house roofs.
You can transform your garden into a nature-friendly zone with a bat box, designed to mimic bats’ natural roosting sites and help them rest and hibernate in peace and quiet.
Bats use different roosts at different times of the year. Female bats gather together in summer to form a maternity roost, where they give birth and suckle their young. These tend to be warm and dry, compared to the cool, constant temperatures of winter roosts, which bats use for hibernation.
By erecting bat boxes in several locations in your garden, including against exterior walls, you will provide a range of habitats throughout the year.
We’ve pulled together some of the best bat boxes to put up in your outdoor space, and have included tips on what to look out for in a bat box, and where to position it.
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For more on creating habitats for wildlife:
What to look for in a bat box
Bat boxes usually have narrow slits that bats can crawl into. They need to be draught free, as bats won't use them if they're draughty. A well-insulated box will retain its temperature more consistently, and is therefore more likely to attract bats.
There are several designs to choose from. Wooden bat boxes are usually box-shaped or flat, with a grooved ‘bat ladder’ and a slit at the bottom, for access. They should be made with untreated wood and have a rough texture inside, such as rough-sawn timber, which the bats can cling on to.
Woodcrete bat boxes, which are made from wood fibres mixed with concrete, are becoming popular as they are long lasting and durable.
Locate your bat box at least 4m off the ground in a sunny, sheltered location where bats are known to feed, ideally near hedges and tree lines, which bats use to navigate.
The best bat boxes in 2023
Browse our list of the best bat boxes, below.
Beaumaris Woodstone Bat Box Maxi
The Beaumaris Bat Box is made from WoodStone, a durable mix of concrete and wood fibres, which provides a draught-proof space that maintains an even temperature. It's also what gives it its lifetime warranty. This design has a rough interior to enable bats to cling.
Buy Beaumaris Woodstone Bat Box Maxi from CJ Wildlife
Wildlife World Conservation Bat Box
Made using FSC timber, the Conservation Bat Box has two vertical chambers with a grooved ladder which enables bats to climb in and cling. The roof is sloping to keep the box dry. It has a natural finish with just the front panel painted in a water-based paint.
Buy Wildlife World Conservation Bat Box from Amazon
Eco Kent Bat Box
The Eco Kent Bat Box is made by Nestbox using FSC wood and features two internal crevices, ideal for common bats species such as pipistrelles. Inside the wood is roughly sawn to give bats a good grip.
Buy Eco Bat Box from NHBS
Medium Wooden Bat Box
This sturdy bat box has a grooved ladder and entrance slit for safe entry and exit, designed to be accessible only to bats, so predators can’t get in. The wooden design will fit in nicely amongst garden trees, ready for bats to settle into in the daytime for roosting.
Buy the Medium Wooden Bat Box from Sarah Raven
Ecostyrocrete Three Crevice Bat Box
Ecostyrocrete is made using recycled polystyrene mixed with cement. It's a durable, long-lasting material that's perfect for making insulated, draught-proof wildlife habitats. This handmade bat box features three crevices for roosting bats, and can be tailored to be fixed to a tree or wall.
Buy Ecostyrocrete Three Crevice Bat Box from greenwoodsecohabitats.co.uk
Harlech Woodstone Bat Box
Long-lasting woodcrete ensures a well-insulated and draught-free space for roosting bats. Guaranteed for 10 years.
Buy Harlech Woodstone Bat Box from CJ Wildlife
Almodovar Wooden Bat Box
This large, black box is designed to host a greater number of bats of different species, including brown long-eared bats. It has two two sections with grooved internal ladders that bats can cling on to.
Buy Almodovar Wooden Bat Box from CJ Wildlife
Chillon Woodstone Bat Box
This woodstone bat box can house up to 15 pipistrelle bats at a time. It has a textured ‘landing ramp’ to enable bats to cling on easily. Being made from woodstone, this box is durable, draught-free and long lasting, and is guaranteed for 10 years.
Buy the Chillon Woodstone Bat Box from CJ Wildlife
Where to put a bat box?
Location is key when it comes to your bat box. The ideal spot for positioning is at least 4m above the ground, sheltered from strong winds. Areas where bats are known to feed are a good start. You can also take advantage of their tendency to use hedge and tree lines for navigation by placing your bat box near to such spots. Attach to tree trunks, exterior walls or under the eaves of your house. The higher the better as this will avoid any interference from other wildlife or domestic pets, too.
This Product Guide was last updated in September 2023. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.