An astonishing 13 out of the UK's 17 species of breeding bats can now be found at Knepp, including two of the rarest species in Europe.
Bechstein’s, a tree-living bat associated with old growth broadleaved woodland, is so rare little is known about it. It has a long, pink muzzle and reddish brown fur, big ears, and feeds on spiders and day-flying insects resting in the trees.
Barbastelle bats, with endearing, upturned noses like a pug and wide, rounded ears joining at the top of the head (a useful distinguishing feature) roost behind the loose bark of aged trees and can live to 23 years.
Unlike the days of intensive farming here there are no longer any pesticides going in to the system - this, along with the abundance of nectar sources, has resulted in a resurgence in insect numbers which in turn has resulted in a resurgence in bats. The hedgerows, streams and trees all provide important flight paths and foraging opportunities for bats, as they commute about the landscape.