PUPS are about to take to the skies above Stroud as the mysterious life cycle of one of Britain’s rarest creatures begins again.

Already 39 baby greater horseshoe bats – called pups – have been born at Woodchester Mansion near Nympsfield this year.

Over the next few months visitors can book to use bat detectors on special, seasonal Bat Walks, run with the Gloucester Bat Group, on July 25, August 21 and September 12.

Visitors can see the parents and babes hanging in the dark attic of the mansion on its regular open days, thanks to special infra red cameras.

The cameras relay live pictures to a downstairs observatory which members of the public can enjoy during their tours of the mansion.

To find out more visit www.woodchestermansion.org.uk