Bat & Moth Safaris

led by Ryan Greaves and Penny Green

Meet the nocturnal residents of Knepp Wildland on a night time safari. As we wait for darkness to descend we’ll look at some bats in the hand, kindly on loan from the Sussex Bat Hospital. Learn about the wonderful variety of these enchanting tiny mammals and how to identify them.

We’ll look at some of the colourful moths from traps set the night before, and learn about their fascinating lifecycles – from the bright pink-and-yellow elephant hawk-moth through to the buff-tip - the moth that thinks it’s a twig. Loitering around the moth trap will be other delightful moths like the setaceous hebrew character, rosy footman and chocolate-tip.

bats

With bat detectors in hand, we’ll stroll into the darkness in search of bats feeding over the ponds and along the hedgerows. An amazing total of thirteen out of the UK’s seventeen breeding species of bat have been recorded at Knepp over the past few years, attracted here by our burgeoning insect population. Picking up their high frequency echolocation calls, we’ll seek out these different species as they emerge to hunt - like Daubenton’s bat which skims over Knepp lake using its large feet to fish insects from the water’s surface; and the barbastelle, with its pug-like face and large, wide ears, flying in from roosting sites over fifteen miles away to hunt over the floodplain. Or Bechstein’s bat, one of our rarest species, and the common pipistrelle, which, though weighing less than a £1 coin, can eat 3,000 insects in a night.

We’ll be walking at a gentle pace for about 1 ½ hours, with frequent stops. You’ll need a moderate level of fitness and be able to cope with walking on uneven ground. At the end of our Safari we’ll break for a glass of wine under the stars.

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Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari booking. We also cannot guarantee the great British weather, or that you will see your target species. Nature is unpredictable! However we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience with us, come rain or shine, and there’s always plenty of wildlife to see. Our safaris are suitable only for children of 12 and over