Close up of a Lesser Horseshoe Bat's face
Scientific Name:
Rhinolophus hipposideros
A small bat with greyish-brown fur. Like all horseshoe bats, it sports a horseshoe shaped noseleaf.
Up to 4.5 cm in length with a 20-25 cm wingspan, can weight up to 9 grams.
Preferred habitats:
Woodland and grassland - they tend to roost in old buildings, stables and barns.
Flying insects such as moths and midges.
Up to 30 years.


In May maternity colonies are formed in which the females give birth to a single pup.


Where do they live in the Forest?

They hunt low over the open areas in the forest.


Natural predators

They are vulnerable to hawks, owls and large birds. If they fall to the ground then species such as pine martens will take them.


Spotting tips

Can be seen at night from April through to October feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects.


Not to be confused with

The Greater Horseshoe Bat which is significantly larger


Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Lesser Horseshoe Bats are listed as a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Framework. They are also a European Protected Species through the European Habitats Directive.


How you can help

One way you could help is to become a Friend of the Forest and support our work creating and maintaining habitats for wildlife. Another is to plant plenty of wildflowers to support flying insects, which in turn will feed bats of all kinds.