Seeing the Bats in the Roger Ransome Bat Observatory

The bat observatory in the Mansion is named after our bat expert, Dr Roger Ransome. Visitors can see the bats when they are in residence (April – end September). The observatory has recently been refurbished due to a grant from the NLHF Steps to Sustainability Programmemore info→

The bats roost in the attics in the NW corner of the Mansion. The Greater Horseshoes are two floors above the bat observatory, and the Lesser Horseshoes in an adjacent attic to the east.

There are high definition infra-red cameras in the attics. The very detailed images are fed to the HD screens in the bat observatory, for visitors to look at. The system is world class; it gives visitors the clearest possible view of these wonderful wild creatures.

The images can also be recorded and used for counting as part of the ongoing scientific study of the bats. Occasionally a bat of a different species pops into the roost and they can be spotted.

There are incubators in the bat roosts to ensure that the pups are kept at a constant temperature of 27°C. This is important to ensure the survival of this endangered species. The heaters can be seen in the picture above.

Visitors will notice that though bats are nocturnal creatures, they are very active in in daytime. There is grooming and fluttering, and of course as it’s a maternity roost, the mother bats have to care for their babies. As all parents know, babies are very high maintenance! As the pups grow, they can be seen exercising, stretching and flapping their wings, while holding firmly on to their mother.

 The bat observatory also contains very informative films about the bats by Dr Ransome and his grandson Michael.

Visitors who would like to discover more about the bats can join one of our evening bat experiences.

2024 Open Day Season

We are open 11am - 5pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from Friday 29th March to Sunday 3rd November.

Telephone 01453 861541

Woodchester Mansion,

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