How to make a bat box
This easy-to-make project will house a range of different bat species. It has an entry slot against the back board on the lower edge, and the rest of the joints are neat to prevent drafts – something bats are fussy about! The roof is held in place with a short section of timber on its underside and an angle slot cut in the back board, making it easy to take off and clean. Your plank might have different measurements to ours, so roughly assemble the box as you go, to check everything lines up before you start drilling or screwing. Don’t buy treated timber or apply any preservative as it will deter bats.
YOU WILL NEED
Softwood, planed timber plank, approx. 18 x 144 x 1500mm
20 x 25mm (No.6) cross head woodscrews
Tenon or other fine-toothed hand saw Screwdriver Electric drill
No.6 wood drill bit and countersink Work bench Tape measure Pencil 1 Measure and mark out your plank; leave the front till last, so you can hold the saw at about 30 degrees from the vertical when cutting to ensure the lid fits snuggly. Cut out the individual pieces and sand the edges. 2 Use the saw to cut shallow, horizontal grooves in the back section of timber to form a ‘bat ladder’. Grooves can also be cut on the inside surfaces of the whole box for the bats to cling onto. 3 Cut a wedge out of the back section, around 60mm down from the top edge. This will locate the lid in position. Handle the saw with care, holding the plank firmly and cut away from yourself. 4 Assemble the box; pre-drilling holes for the screws to prevent the wood splitting. Drill holes at the top and bottom of the back panel to attach the box to its support. Attach the ‘holder’ to the underside of the roof and slot in place.