THE earliest ever recorded wild bat births have been discovered at a National Trust site.

The four baby Daubenton’s Bats were found by bat experts Roger Jones and Sally-Ann Hurrey at Bodiam Castle, near Hastings in East Sussex.

It is not uncommon for ‘pups’ to be born at Bodiam Castle earlier than is typical.

A castle spokeswoman said: “The castle’s good conditions facilitate the early births of Daubenton’s bats.

“The castle’s close proximity to water, and thus insects, provides the bats with a regular supply of food and the high, strong walls of the castle provide a safe nesting place for the bats to give birth.”

The previous record for the earliest birth of a wild bat was on May 30, 2012. It is thought the new-borns were born on 16 May, 2014.

The spokeswoman said: “The early births have been put down to the warm temperatures the area experienced early this year.

“Bats mate in September time but delay the fertilisation of their eggs until the springtime. The warm weather at the beginning of the year meant the bats completed fertilisation earlier-than-usual.”

The 14th Century castle is a popular family destination and has over 200 bats from both the Daubenton’s and Natter species, which are often heard but rarely seen by the public.