X

Bat House

A new building has appeared at the estate of the former Huize Teesink. A folly, an inaccessible building without windows and without doors. Seemingly without function. But this tower is definitely in use. It is the new residence of several bat species: it serves as a summer and a winter residence for the serotine bat and the rare brown long-eared bat and as a nursery and winter residence for the common pipistrelle bat. An important new home for bats in Overijssel. At seven meters it is the tallest bat house in the Netherlands and every detail is tailored to its new residents.... Read More

A new building has appeared at the estate of the former Huize Teesink. A folly, an inaccessible building without windows and without doors. Seemingly without function. But this tower is definitely in use. It is the new residence of several bat species: it serves as a summer and a winter residence for the serotine bat and the rare brown long-eared bat and as a nursery and winter residence for the common pipistrelle bat. An important new home for bats in Overijssel.

At seven meters it is the tallest bat house in the Netherlands and every detail is tailored to its new residents. The lower half consists of gypsum walls with openings of 2 to 3 cm where the bats can crawl to hibernate. A drain in the ground humidifies the tower continuously. The rough brick facade offers grip to bats during their approach. Open butt joints lead to a narrow cavity. All of this has the exact size for bats to keep warm, but is too small for ravenous pine martens to enter.

The top half is a wooden roof structure, like an old-fashioned attic. During summer the brown long-eared bats – with a wingspan of 38cm the biggest bat in the Netherlands – hang from the rafters. The pantile roof provides extra hiding places, and the facade as well, between overlapping oak panels.

Due to the construction of the N18, the Twenteroute, the bats’ current habitat has been demolished. A few hundred meters away, the Teesinkbos with its combination of open and closed forest, open water and Teesinkbeek provides a food-rich environment. From their new residence, the bats hunt for insects along the forest edge and above the lake. The rooftop and slope are situated exactly beside their flight paths.

Landschap Overijssel has beautifully restored the area to its former state. Following the trail you slowly encircle the tower. Light brick contrasts with the vegetation; the wooden sheeting will gray over time and increasingly blend into the area. Reflected in the water, the appearance is different every time. A sign explains the structure and its special inhabitants. But that’s as close as you can get: this is home to the bat.

 

FACTS
Location: Teesinkbos, Boekelo (NL)
Program: summer and winter residence for several bat species
Client: Rijkswaterstaat, Landschap Overijssel
Partners: NatuurInclusief, Bouwbedrijf W. Nijhuis
Year: 2015-2016

 

 

^