Chirk Castle ranger, Alex, met us in the car park to hand out bat detectors and took us on a walk through the gardens, picking up all of the best spots and passing on his expert local knowledge.
As it was getting dark we headed for the laundry and stable wing which provides suitable conditions for a breeding colony of lesser horseshoe bats and a recent survey showed there are about 270 here.
Lesser horseshoe bats require large, open loft spaces with a high temperature during the summer months in which to give birth to their young and this part of the castle is ideal.
The yew hedges at the castle are also very important to the lesser horseshoe bats. The use the hedges as guides when they are flying at night.
We listened to the bats as they were getting ready to fly and then watched them emerge.
It was a great experience, and great seeing the castle at night with the almost full moon above. It was a late night for the girls so we picked up their bedtime drinks from McDonalds then they headed straight for bed in the tent when we got home.