With a rapid decline in bat populations, all Britain’s 16 species - eight of them can be found in Cumbria - and their roosts are now legally protected.
Bats depend on buildings to house them and return to the same place every year. They use existing gaps or holes for access, don’t have nesting materials or nibble through capes, wires or insulation. In short, bats do not cause damage.
Bats like warm, dry places which are not too dirty. They use many parts of buildings from cavity walls to ridge beams, under slates or ridge tiles to inside stone walls.
Natural England (formerly English Nature) have produced some useful leaflets with diagrams featuring access slates, 'bat bricks' and designs for cavity walls to encourage bat roosts in new or renovated buildings: