Species in Focus; Lesser Horseshoe Bat

lesser horseshoe bat conservation grazing pont cymruOne of the smallest British mammals, the lesser horseshoe bat is approximately the size of a plum and weighs 4 to 9.5 grams. It is one of only two bats in the UK that stereotypically hang upside down! They hunt close to the ground and will often pick prey off obstacles such as branches, showcasing their superb echolocation skills.

They feed mainly along woodland edges, pastures and woodlands. Where grazing animals help to maintain woodland clearings, they can be of great help to the lesser horseshoe bat.

In the Forest of Dean just over the border, traditional breed sheep are being used to great effect to help a population of lesser horseshoe bats. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, through their More Hooves for Horseshoes project, will be grazing Hebridean sheep on their nature reserve. These hardy sheep will be grazing the grasslands to create a more diverse sward, with a complex structure. They will also be helping the insect population through their dung!

Get in touch with PONT for conservation grazing schemes across Wales.

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