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Feared by some, reviled by a few, loved by others! Bats have always divided people's opinions, but whatever you think of them, they are one of nature's most fascinating creatures.

Bats have evolved to use sonar to see their surroundings, to have complex social systems, and, above all else, to fly!

Bats and their roosts are now fully protected by law as their populations have crashed in the last 40 years, but some species are now showing signs of recovering their numbers.

NTS is one of Scotland's leading bat conservation bodies and strive to conserve bats in almost 100 of our properties.

NTS supports some 9 bat species at this time, including the following: Bandit Pipistrelle; Soprano Pipistrelle; Nathusius' Pipistrelle; Daubenton's; Natterer's; Brown Long-eared; Whiskered; Noctule and Leisler's bats. Our staff have also been involved in the discovery of a Parti-coloured bat on Arran recently.

NTS have produced a NTS Bat Conservation Action Plan to help us manage bats during our everyday work and to ensure we conserve them at every opportunity.

NTS now have 10 staff who are licensed bat workers and have many opportunities for volunteers to work with bats, either through the NTS Bat Group or Thistle Camps.

We support some of Scotland's best roost sites. At Haddo House, it is possible to see over 800 soprano pipistrelles emerge from a roost, whilst the Laundry House at Hill of Tarvit is a fantastic spot to watch over 300 soprano pipistrelles leave at dusk as they feed on insects around the estate.

NTS established Scotland's first ever Bat Reserve at Threave in 2010, where at least 7 bat species are found, whilst Culzean Country Park is home to at least 8 bat species, including 2 new species discovered in 2011.