Batcam at Nantclwyd y Dre

We've teamed up with Denbighshire County Council to capture live video of Lesser Horseshoe Bats in a maternity roost to monitor this rare and charismatic species at one of their historical houses.

Common name: Lesser Horseshoe Bat
Scientific name: Rhinolophus hipposideros
Welsh name: Ystlum Pedol Lleiaf

The Lesser Horseshoe bat is one of the smallest British mammals. It is named after the horseshoe-shaped nose leaf, which helps the bat to make echolocation calls used to navigate and find prey. In roosts these bats hang upside down, wrapped in their wings. They need space to have test flights in the roost before going outside, and this behaviour makes them very interesting to view with cameras. 

If you can’t see any bats now try coming back in early evening when there is most likely to be something to see.

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Across their range numbers of lesser horseshoe bats have been decreasing, and they are rare in the British Isles. However, in parts of Western England and Wales they now seem to be increasing and this project is helping to monitoring this change.

Chester Zoo has provided funding to install cameras within the Lesser Horseshoe Bat roost at Nantclwyd y Dre in Ruthin.

Five cameras have been installed - four provide images at the house, and one provides this live video 24 hours a day, thanks to sponsorship from streaming company NWSG.

The lesser horseshoe bat roost is in the attic of the house. It is a maternity roost, where female bats have their young during the summer months (approximately April to September). From June onwards you may be able to spot baby bats cling to their mums.

Nantclwyd y Dre (Nantclwyd House) is a Grade 1 listed house in Ruthin, Denbighshire. It is Wales's oldest timbered town house and is owned and managed by Denbighshire County Council’s Heritage Service. It is open to visitors from April to September, so if you want to see more of these bats please visit.

Lesser horseshoe
Lesser Horseshoe Hibernating Underground. Images courtesy of Mike Castle.

Project partners

Project partners