Basil Stow the National Trust Area Ranger for the Holnicote estate on Exmoor, has been in touch to ask for bat group members help with an exciting bat survey this summer. In Basils own words:
The Holnicote estate has large and varied roosting and feeding opportunities for a wide range of bat species. Over the last couple of years I have started a monitoring programme, hoping to gain a better understanding of how bat species are using the estate, and how our management can be beneficial for bats and their wider habitats.
I am hoping to expand this monitoring project, and the main thing we need additional volunteers for is walking a series of transect routes, monitoring for bat activity. Along with conducting emergence counts at some of our maternity roosts.
Here is a bit more background from Basil about the main monitoring project:
“We walk transects on three or four nights of the year (June-Sep). I hope to send the dates out next week. These four nights are the main commitment, however it isn’t necessary to attend every one. On each night there are 6 transects being walked simultaneously. These are in varied locations across the estate, and aim to give us an idea about which species of bat are present and how they use the habitats. Each transect is walked by a pair, and is about 2 km long (each way), taking about an hour and a half.
We use bat detectors in connection with a recording device, allowing the results to be analysed at a later date. However I do encourage people to make notes and observations while they are about. Full training and equipment will be provided, although I imagine your members already have a good idea about Bat ecology etc.
There are also opportunities to assist with maternity roost monitoring, however we don’t need as many people for this.”
“I appreciate that we are in the far west of Somerset, and this project may not be local to many of your group. However if it is achievable for some of the group to get to us, we would love to have them. We would also be able to offer some fuel expenses to those travelling to us.”
Basil is happy for people to contact him directly by email, for more information