Freshwater is an important resource for all bat species in the UK.


Bats drink from open water surfaces and many species also forage on emerging insects – such as caddis flies, crane flies, midges and mosquitoes – that have aquatic larval stages. Creating and managing ponds to benefit bats could encourage greater numbers and also higher species diversity of bats visiting a site.

Bats will visit a wide range of pond types, including ponds of all sizes. Best practice design principles for pond creation schemes, such as good water quality, wide drawdown zones, and pond complexes with varied profiles, will all benefit bats. There are, however, specific habitat features and aspects of pond location, design and management, which can improve a pond’s value for bats, by enhancing their drinking and foraging opportunities.

Bat species dossier