Bats of Cannizaro Park August, 2012-14

A bat walk commissioned for the local branch of the Girl Guides (September, 2014),found two species of pipistrelle bat. These were in lower numbers than previous walks although this was a reflection of the time of year.


Bat Walks were commissioned at Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon (TQ231709) 2011-2012. Several species of bat have been recorded nearby at Wimbledon Common, including roosting bats, although little is known about the species found using the Park. According to the Wildlife of Cannizaro Park (T. Drakeford, 1999) three bat species have been positively identified. Since the guide was written, there have been many changes to the regions’ bat fauna and two species once recorded in the park (noctule bat and serotine bat) have become infrequent and rare, within the London region (respectively). For this reason there has been considerable strengthening of laws pertaining to bat species as well as new policy guidelines. 


The Park is situated beside the western edge of Wimbledon Common (Special Site of Scientific Interest), near Rushmore Pond. It is one of three parks in the borough that are on English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. In nature conservation terms, the park is a Grade 1 Site of Borough Importance providing a refuge for urban wildlife, especially birds. 

All the buildings within the park have the potential for bat interest. This includes the dark and undisturbed nineteenth century Guides’ chapel, which has good links to overhanging trees. There are many mature trees in the park. Trees and treelines are used by bats for a variety of functions such as: • commuting routes: in order to avoid open areas;  cover: especially during the early part of the evening and in urban centres where light levels are high; and  foraging areas: the trees are both an insect breeding habitat and offer a sheltered micro-climate. A small pond generates a wealth of insect prey and makes use of a tributary of the Wimbledon brook that arises as a spring at the edge of the permeable terrace gravels and Claygate beds. This joins another southern branch before crossing the Wimbledon Golf Course, to join the Beverley Brook. A feature which could be of interest to a species of bat, Daubenton’s bat, regularly recorded at Queensmere (on the common). 

Three bat species were recorded during the 2011 survey: soprano and common pipistrelles as well as Daubenton’s bats. The activity began two minutes after sunset when bats were clearly observed. There were many bats foraging around Maple Walk and the pond, which were their preferred feeding areas. Of these, at least two species were thought to be roosting within the park, due to their early appearance: soprano pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bat; Both species are likely to be roosting in trees although they could also use nearby buildings for roosting purposes. During the two bat walks during  July and August 2012 a fourth species was recorded (Noctule bat) although unfortunately no Daubenton's bats were recorded at the pond.


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