Pipistrelles are the commonest and most widespread of all British bat species. There are two very similar species, common and soprano that were only formally separated in 1999. They have a fast and jerky flight and can consume up to 1500 insects (mostly midges and small flies) in one night!
The two species look very similar and the easiest way to tell them apart is from the peak frequency of their echolocation calls. Sopranos tend to be found near water but there is a lot of overlap between the two species. A third species called Nathusius pipistrelle has a few sparse records in Staffordshire but is almost certainly present elsewhere. This species tends to occur near large water bodies such as lakes and reservoirs.