Buyers’ Guide: Bat Boxes

Quick links:
Introduction to bat boxes
Bat box design
Bat box materials
Mounting and installing bat boxes
Further information
Accessories and suggested reading

Introduction to bat boxes

Globally there are over 1,400 different species of bat and the UK inhabits 18 of these bat species. Although UK bat species do not create their own roost sites, they will roost in trees and occupy spaces that are created by other animals or decaying trees. But due to the removal of trees and suitable habitat, bats will now often favour human-made roosting sites. The addition of available roost sites is an important way to help prevent the ever-declining UK bat populations.

When choosing which bat box fits your needs, there are a few things to consider – the design of the bat box, the material, and the mounting and installation method. These features can be determined by identifying the target bat species alongside the location and habitat you wish to situate the bat box.

Bat box design

There are several types of bat box design and these can be split into crevice, cavity and hybrid boxes, as well as hibernation, maternity and heated boxes.

Crevice boxes provide a narrower roost space for species that naturally prefer smaller roosts, such as Brandts, Natterers and Pipistrelles, whereas cavity boxes offer a more spacious roost space favoured in general by the larger bat species such as the Greater and Lesser Horseshoe, Barbastelle and Brown Long-eared. Some boxes are designed to be hybrid boxes, meaning they can accommodate both cavity and crevice bat species.

Crevice: Low Profile WoodStone Bat Box

Cavity: Improved Cavity Bat Box 

Hybrid: General Purpose Bat Box 

Hibernation and maternity boxes are similar in their design to provide a warm and safe roosting space. Both boxes tend to be well insulated and larger in size with multiple internal chambers, especially important for maternity boxes that accommodate breeding colonies. There are also heated bat boxes; in these, the temperature is controlled by an external thermostat and can aid with mitigation schemes for the loss of bat maternity sites.

Hibernation: Large Multi Chamber WoodStone Bat Box

Maternity: Causa Maternity Bat Box

Heated: Heated Bat Roost Box

Bat box materials

Bat boxes can be made from a number of different materials; these vary in longevity, durability and often price. The most common materials are wood (often timber); a wood and concrete blend, sometimes known as woodstone or woodcrete; eco-plastic; and concrete. Below is a brief description of each alongside one of our best sellers.

Wooden bat boxes 

  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for externally mounting on both trees and buildings
  • Less robust and shorter longevity than woodstone/woodcrete boxes

Double Chamber Bat Box


Woodstone and woodcrete bat boxes

  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • Well insulated
  • Can be built in or externally mounted to buildings
  • Heavier than wooden and eco-plastic boxes

Beaumaris Woodstone Bat Box 


Eco-plastic bat boxes

  • Sustainably sourced recycled plastic
  • Lighter than woodstone/woodcrete and more durable than wooden boxes
  • Although made from recycled plastic, it is still plastic

Integrated Eco Bat Box


Concrete bat boxes

  • Very durable
  • Very heavy and can only be built directly into buildings

Bat Block



Mounting and installing bat boxes

Bat boxes fall into externally mounted or integrated boxes. Mounted boxes can be fixed to trees, fences or buildings, and integrated boxes are built directly into the brickwork of a building.

Externally mounted boxes can vary in size and material, and often they are wooden or woodstone/woodcrete. When choosing an externally mounted bat box, it is important to consider the weight of the box and the surface you are mounting the box to. Some are lighter and ideal for mounting on trees, while some are more durable and can be fixed to buildings.

All bat boxes should be positioned in an open and sunny location (ideally boxes should have 6-8 hours of direct sunlight), around 3-6 metres high (the higher the better). It is important to avoid placing these close to any artificial lights such as streetlamps or security lights. External mounted boxes can be attached via a hanger or fixing bracket and it is best to fix using aluminium nails.

Vivara Pro WoodStone Bat Box

2F Schwegler Bat Box (General Purpose)

Integrated bat boxes are self-contained concrete roosts. They are popular with new housing developments as they are unobtrusive and often aesthetically pleasing. The boxes can be built flush to the wall or beneath a rendered surface, and each box has an entry point that must be left exposed for the bats to access the box. Some boxes are plain for rendering or can be custom faced with a chosen brick type which adds to their discreteness.

Habibat Bat Box 001

Vivara Pro Build-in WoodStone Bat Box


There are also pole-mounted bat boxes (sometimes known as rocket boxes). These bat boxes are helpful alternatives in areas where there is nowhere to mount the bat box. An additional benefit is that they ensure that the bat box gains maximum sunlight in shaded areas.

Pole Mounted Large Colony Bat Box


Lastly, there are bat roost access titles and bricks. These are designed to provide bats with access points within roof or ridge tiles. Some bats will roost in the confined spaces beneath the tiles and others will use the open roof space to roost.

Bat Access Tile Set

Further information

We supply a wide range of bat boxes, and we hope this Buyer’s Guide is informative and provides a useful breakdown of the different types available to help you decide which bat boxes best suits your needs.

For further information, please get in contact with us directly and take a look at our blogs including The NHBS Guide to UK Bat Identification and the NHBS Guide: Where to hang and how to maintain your bat box.

Accessories and suggested reading

Heavy Duty Aluminium Nails 

Xtend & Climb Pro Telescopic Ladder

A Miscellany of Bats 

Bat Calls of Britain and Europe: A Guide to Species Identification


  • Our full range of bat boxes can be found here.

    If you have any questions about our range or would like some advice on the right product for you then please contact us via email at or phone on 01803 865913.

In The Field: Elekon Batlogger S2

The Batlogger S2 is a compact passive recorder manufactured by Elekon. This all-in-one static bat detector and ultrasonic recorder is designed to be left unattended in the field over several nights to survey and monitor bats. The S2 is operated solely via Bluetooth and the BATLOGGER Control App (available on iOS and Android). It is small, weighing only 138g and measuring 132 x 72 x 35mm, but despite its size, the S2 is robust. It is waterproof and replacement microphones are also available, handy if the original microphone becomes damaged or loses sensitivity. 

Elekon has designed the S2 to be easy to use and lightweight, and built to withstand fieldwork conditions. We took the opportunity on a warm evening in mid-May to test the S2’s ability.

How we tested

The S2 was set up in a hedgerow in South Devon, close to a small known roosting site.

We connected the S2 to the BATLOGGER Control App on an iPhone via Bluetooth. Once connected, the S2 determines the dusk and dawn times using the GPS location from the phone/tablet, and suggests these as automatic trigger times. We selected this automatic time window, but, you can choose and customise your own and set multiple time windows as needed. 

The S2 is full spectrum with a range of 10-150kHz and a sample rate of 312.5 kHz. The default sensitivity is balanced, and we adjusted the sensitivity to ‘high’ using the App. This may lead to several unwanted calls in busier environments; however, it also ensures that it is triggered by most types of bat call, including social calls, which can sometimes be missed. 

Once collected from the field after one night of deployment, the recordings were downloaded from the S2 to a computer using the USB-C to USB-C cable (if you do not have a USB-C port, you’ll need an adaptor). Helpfully, the S2 is charged using the same USB-C cable – a single charge provides 100 hours of power!

The recordings are stored on an internal microSD card, and the S2 generates two file types: an audio file (.wav) and a recording information file (.xml). The audio files allow you to listen to your recordings through bat call analysis software and the information files store important metadata such as date, location, recording time, and device settings.

What we found

The BATLOGGER Control App shows you the number of sessions recorded – the high sensitivity triggered 192 audio files over one night. We used the BatExplorer software to manage and view the S2 recordings. The software has key features such as automatic bat call detection, making sorting files very easy, and it also provides suggestions for species identification. 

Of the 192 audio files, 40 of these identified the common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). The default S2 sensitivity is ‘balanced’, this may have led to a smaller number of unwanted files (which recorded sounds other than bats). But we did not want to miss a bat call and the BatExplorer software allows you to quickly filter the unwanted files.

The echolocation frequency for common pipistrelles is approximately 45kHz, and the below images show an example of the spectrogram and call measures from a common pipistrelle recording taken at dusk and the information popout that BatExplorer produces, detailing the automatic analysis that the software carries out. 

Below is an audio clip with its accompanying spectrogram of a common pipistrelle taken at dusk. The BatExplorer software allows you to customise the playback and how the spectrogram can be viewed. 

Our opinion

The physical design and key features of the S2 makes surveying bats a simple task. 

The S2 truly is discrete and lightweight, making it easy to set up in the field, and once deployed the battery life will allow up to 10 (10 hour) consecutive nights of surveying. 

The setup through the BATLOGGER Control App is straightforward. The S2 conveniently uses the GPS location on your phone/tablet to determine dusk and dawn which benefits the accuracy of the recording schedules. You can choose your settings at a click of a button, and the instruction manual is clear and accessible for any help needed.  

The only limitation we found is that you cannot access the recordings straight from the App. However, transferring the files across to your computer allows you to listen to and analyse the audio files with ease. The BatExplorer software (available on a 30-day free trial) enhances analysis as it allows you to review, manage, and organise your recordings. 

The S2 is an impressive bat detector, and it is an ideal choice for professionals and ecological surveyors.

The Elekon Batlogger S2 can be found here. Our full range of passive full spectrum bat detectors can be found here.

If you have any questions about our range or would like some advice on the right product for you then please contact us via email at or phone on 01803 865913.