Skip to main content
close x


Bats are fascinating animals, full of many mysteries still left for us to discover. They are a vital part of our native wildlife and their presence indicates a healthy environment.

The New Forest is a stronghold for bats and of the 18 species found in the UK, at least 14 can be found here. Three are particularly rare: greater horseshoe, Bechstein’s and barbastelle.

Sadly, a quarter of the world’s 1,300 bat species are threatened with extinction, but the good news is that in the New Forest we are working with our partners to protect them.

There are many ways you can help support bats:

Remember, you must hold a bat licence to be able to handle bats. Bats and their roosts are protected by law in this country, and heavy fines can be incurred if their habitat is destroyed or disturbed. Natural England should be contacted for advice if work is likely to affect bats or their roosts.

If you find an injured or orphaned bat in the New Forest, please contact the National Bat Helpline, telephone 0345 1300 228, or report your finding online.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

Newsletter Image





Six free walking routes when you sign up for New Forest Newsletter

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

By entering your email below you are consenting to us sending you newsletters. To unsubscribe, email More info:

I think you mistyped your email
Your interests (tick at least one)

Please select one

By signing up to this form you are consenting to receive emails from us. Each email will contain a link to your personal reference settings where you can opt-out or change which emails you receive from us. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information about how we use data.

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

Thanks, your subscription has been confirmed. You've been added to our list and your New Forest walking pack is on its way to you, including a link to download our free app.