A North East water company has provided a new hangout for some furry creatures of the night.

Northumbrian Water has worked with the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) to install five new bat boxes at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve in Newcastle.


Bat boxes - wooden boxes with small holes in them - are put on trees to help to provide the night-time creatures somewhere safe to roost, raise their pups and sleep during the day.


It comes as the water company is currently carrying out work nearby to reduce future flooding in Killingworth and Longbenton.


As part of the project, excess water from Killingworth Lake will be carried down through the watercourse into the reserve - which is also home to otters, kingfishers, red squirrels and deer.


The NHSN, who have managed Gosforth Park Nature Reserve since 1929, were looking to encourage more bats to the existing population, with just eight bat species recorded on the reserve to date.


Lynn Preston, Northumbrian Water′s Project Manager, said: "When we′re working in an area, we′re always looking for ways that we can help protect and enhance the environment.


"Bats are a protected species and they play a vital role in our ecological system, so it′s really important that we look after them. I′m delighted that we′re able to help contribute to the nature reserve and hopefully encourage the bat colony in this area."


Clare Freeman, NHSN Director, said: "A healthy bat population is a great indicator of ecosystem health and Gosforth Park Nature Reserve is home to wide range of species. A number of these, including Common and Soprano Pipistrelle, are known to use bat boxes.


"The boxes kindly provided by Northumbrian Water will provide our bats with a welcome refuge, a safe space to breed, roost, hibernate and ultimately, flourish."


Customer′s can follow the progress of the Killingworth and Longbenton project, by visiting www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk