A decline in the local bat population has prompted a water company to recycle redundant pipes and use them as homes for the mammals.
Severn Trent Water is using old water pipes for bats to roost in at its sites across the Midlands.
Like many other once common mammals, bats are in decline due to loss of suitable habitat.
Their preferred summer roosts are in hollows or crevices found in trees and Severn Trent is adapting redundant pipes to mimic these natural conditions.
Colin Green, environment adviser at Severn Trent, said: "The idea struck me when I came across some old pipes standing up in one of our stores.
"They're hollow like a tree trunk and also the same shape. To us they're just redundant pipes but to a bat they're a safe, protected site for roosting.
"It's a relatively simple job to transform the pipes into ideal roosting sites, all we've done is cut a horizontal slot approximately two inches wide, a bit like a letter box, near the top of the pipe, that the bats can fly in to. We've also put mesh inside the pipes so the bats have something to cling on to."
One of the most common bats is the pipistrelle. which has seen a 70 per cent decline between 1978 and 1993.
Bats are renowned pest controllers, consuming more than 3,000 flying insects in one evening.
Mr Green said: "The back garden in one of Britain's biggest nature reserves yet is often forgotten in terms of helping the environment and wildlife.
"By encouraging bats into your own garden you can create your own living breathing insect controller at home.
"If you would like to make your garden a bat-friendly area, and help improve the survival of this creature, then why not have a go at making your own bat box." n Severn Trent has provided a fact sheet on bats which includes drawings and information on how to make your own bat box.
The fact sheet can be downloaded from their website at www.stwater.co.uk/habitats or ordered by telephoning 0121 722 4121.