We Were Not Alone

On Friday 11th May, good job it wasn’t  the 13th due to the location we were at, Laura, Adam, Bernard, Matt and I  in our waders  and wearing head torches entered the depths of an old flooded basement with satanic symbols on the walls and the writing of the “End is near” to set upon our task of creating habitats for bats.

Working with only the light from our head torches we started clearing out the litter and old debris. It did not take long before we realised we Were Not Alone as there were creatures swimming between our feet and climbing up the walls. They only turned out to be these below…..


Common Frog



We saw over 20 frogs so Adam used the fine art of catching and returning back to the wild. Laura also found a female Newt.


Female Smooth Newt


After evicting all the basement tenants we set to work drilling holes into the wall and setting in wall plugs to fix the ready made bat boxes to be hung upon. Then all of us got creative building our own. We may have gone a bit over the top on the creative side as we named a couple of the bat boxes as pictured below:


Matt and Bernard Installing a Rail.


In total we installed 11 Bat boxes and 2 rails for future bat boxes to be hung upon. Plus we turned 2 concrete stacks into suitable homes by posting little bits of wooden slats into slots in the concrete stack to ensure nice tight/warm crevice for the bats to roost in.


Richmond and Richmond House Bat Box’s made by Jeremy , Matt and Bernard.

This tasks was carried out to create a new hibernation site for bats in a location that only the Blackwater Trust would have access to and able to monitor to ensure a safe haven for the bats to inhabit and hopefully increase their numbers.

Thank you Laura for leading such an interesting and enjoyable task.

Jeremy/Jez. Volunteer Student

About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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