News | Latest News | New VWT farms leaflet for lesser horseshoe bats launched

23rd November 2012

We launched our new farms leaflet for the lesser horseshoe bat at the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross, County Wexford September 25th – 27th. Although not all of the reported 187,000 people who attended the event called to our stand (something of a relief to Kate as she was the only person on hand to deal with queries!), there was a lot of interest in both the leaflet and the work of the Trust on other species, including the pine marten and Irish stoat. You can download a copy of the leaflet here.

We were delighted and grateful that Minister Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, was able to take some time out of his busy schedule at the championships to visit our stand and to talk to Kate about the potential for including conservation measures on farms for the lesser horseshoe bat  in future agri-environmental schemes.

The Minister stated “Preserving our built heritage is a central part of the Government’s Heritage Policy and in tandem with that is the preservation of our natural heritage, which fits hand in glove with the work that The Vincent Wildlife Trust does to ensure that the habitats for the lesser horseshoe bat remain undisturbed”

Some of the farmers who spoke to Kate were or are still participating in the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) and they shared their experiences of putting measures in place to protect certain habitats, such as creating ponds or protecting exisiting water features such as rivers and streams, planting trees and erecting bat boxes. Many farmers mentioned that they no longer see as many bats about the farmyard as they did in previous years, possibly reflecting the changes that have taken place in farming over time, with the removal of hedgerows, the switch from hay to silage, the loss of old farm buildings that served as bat roosts and the use of insecticides and herbicides.

In contrast, more pine martens are now being spotted within the countryside, an event that is being met with mixed emotions by the farming community, at least by those who keep hens or are involved in rearing pheasants. A number of copies of the Trust’s publication ‘How to exclude pine martens from game and poultry pens’ have now been dispatched in the hope that this will address this issue.

Please contact us for advice if you think you have the lesser horseshoe bat on your property or if you wish to receive a copy of our farms leaflet in the post. For more information on the lesser horseshoe bat, visit our lesser horseshoe bat page.