Three species of pipistrelle are known to breed in the UK. The common and soprano pipistrelles are a relatively common sight in greater London, particularly amongst the city’s parks, gardens and rivers. Nathusius’ pipistrelle is far rarer. A pipistrelle bat’s diet consists mainly of midges and mosquitos, with a single bat thought to be capable of consuming thousands per night, performing a useful pest control service.
Despite being an uncommon sight in greater London, a Leisler’s bat was recorded in the West End in 2014. Leisler’s bats feed largely on flies, beetles and moths, so the inclusion of further diverse habitats will encourage a greater feeding resource to the West End. The Leisler’s bat tends to roost in holes in trees such as those in the private parks and gardens of the West End, but will also readily occupy buildings and artificial bat boxes.
Brown long-eared bat
As its name suggests, the brown long-eared bat possesses exceptionally large ears, these can be nearly as long as its body. Its ears give the brown long-eared bat excellent hearing, allowing it to reduce the volume of its call to a near whisper and sneak up on its preferred prey of moths, or insects gleaned from foliage. Wild West End will provide habitats and night-flowering plants to support the insects upon which this species feeds.