Somerset Bat Group Newsletter early June 19 – Surveys, surveys, surveys …

Hi fellow nocturnal people!

It is the batty time of year, with lots of bats out, and activities going on.

The group has successfully checked the Bat Boxes in Taunton and on the Avalon Marshes, with young Natterers pups again been found in a Box on Catcott.   Photos here: –  Adel also led another great Bat walk at Darshill, Shepton, with many locals and Lesser Horseshoe and Serotines putting on a good show.

We are now firmly in the Roost survey season, so do keep an eye on our facebook group, for requests for help.

In this newsletter we have lots of information (copied belo)w from the BCT:

  1. A exciting opportunity for us in the SW to take part in the second pilot of the brand new British Bat Survey.   With only 40 places available throughout the SW, let’s get our requests in early and make sure Somerset is well represented!
  2. The latest Bat Group Bulletin, with lots of survey information
  3. A update on the National Bat Monitoring Program

If interested in the technology behind the British Bat Survey, you might like to know that the Audiomoth recorder which is being used is now available to buy (for another 25 days) in another round of collective buying.   The device has limitations currently, but shows promise, and best of all is only $65 USD delivered

Our next newsletter will have more details of the Field Surveys that start in July, until then good batting!

Membership Sec. Somerset Bat Group

Web link =

From: British Bat Survey <>
Subject: British Bat Survey – We need you!

Dear Bat Group,

BCT are excited to announce the launch of a new citizen science survey, the British Bat Survey!

The British Bat Survey utilises the latest developments in bat detector design, automated call recognition and interactive volunteer feedback to provide an unparalleled level of detail about our resident bat species. This is already revolutionising our ability to monitor and conserve bats.

This year we will be trialling the survey in SW Britain and to make this survey a success we need your help.  The method is simple, we would like you to use an AudioMoth detector to survey a single location for as many non-consecutive nights as possible between the 1st July and 11th August 2019. All you will need is a computer. BCT will provide you with an AudioMoth, will process your recordings, and at the end of the survey we will send you a list of all the bat passes and species that you have detected.

This is a great opportunity to borrow an AudioMoth for the summer, find out more about the bat species using a location near you, and help shape the development of a world leading citizen science survey.

As only 40 AudioMoths are available we would like to like to invite bat group members to take part before we open up participation to the wider public next week, so please act quickly to secure an AudioMoth.

Click here for more information and to sign up.

Any questions? Please contact us at

Regards,  Sonia
Sonia Reveley, Project Officer

Web link –

Dear bat group member.

Welcome to the May Bat Group Bulletin. 

This edition of the bulletin focuses quite a lot on calling for volunteers to help on several projects. BCT, Bat Groups and other organisations rely a great deal on volunteers who make a significant to contribution to bat conservation.
Only one person spotted the ‘deliberate mistake’ in my first Bulletin (part of my email address was missing), the prize went to Beatrice Dopita from River Allen Bat Roost in Dorset. I sincerely apologise if you clicked the link and got nowhere, it was a genuine mistake (honest!).
1. Pete Guest Award – Nominations
2. Kate Barlow Award Winner 2019
3. National Bats in Churches Survey
4. VOGAB Bat Group Crowdfunding Appeal
5. Alderney Bat Week 20-27th July
6. URGENT NBMP Volunteers wanted for unallocated sites
7. Bat walk leaders wanted by the National Trust
8. The Time is NOW – Mass Lobbying event in London
9. Call for Donations of Bat Research Equipment
10. The Use of Netting around Potential Roosts
11. Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Checks
12. BCT Training Courses. ABST. QGIS. Bearing Witness for Wildlife
13. National Bat Helpline – Out of Hours Service.
14. Animal Friends Insurance supporting the National Bat Helpline – Thank you!
15. Bat Research Papers, Reports & Other Batty Media
16. Key Dates for Your Diary
1. Pete Guest Award 2019 – Nominations open.
The Pete Guest Award is presented annually to individuals (or joint nominations) who have made
outstanding contributions to bat conservation. The award is presented in memory of Pete Guest,
who was an inspirational figure in bat conservation for more than 20 years. We announced, via an
email to bat groups last week that nominations are now being taken for the award in 2019. Full
details of how to nominate and the previous winners are on the BCT website at:
2. The Kate Barlow Award Winner 2019.
The Kate Barlow Award was established in memory of the late Dr Kate Barlow, former Head of
Monitoring with BCT, and in honour of her contribution to bat conservation. The 2019 winner of the
award is Benneth Obitte. Benneth is using an innovative socio-ecological approach to evaluate the
drivers of bat hunting and meat consumption in southern Nigerian localities where intense hunting is
reported, particularly of the Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus). You can read more about
Benneth’s work on the BCT website at:
3. National Bats in Churches Survey – be the first to take part.
The Bats in Churches project are organising two citizen science surveys and the first – the National
Bats in Churches Study – launches this June. We’ve randomly selected 1000 churches for this study
and aim to survey as many as possible over the next four years (2019-2022) but we need your help
to achieve it! If you join and choose a church, you’ll complete a one-off survey, comprising of a
questionnaire with church representatives and a daytime bat evidence survey. You’ll also collect
droppings for DNA analysis and place a static detector in the church for a few nights.
This year we’re starting gently, and only promoting the survey to bat groups and current NBMP
volunteers. If you’d be keen to take part this summer and be among the first to trial the survey,
lease register your interest with Claire Boothby (, who’ll let you know as soon
as registration is live.

4. The Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Bat Group – Crowdfunding Appeal.

The VOGAB are trying to raise some much needed funds towards equipment to catch bats for their
new and exciting woodland Myotis project and Nathusius’ pipistrelle project. The more kit they can
get the more surveys they can do and the more volunteers they can take out and train on these
projects. The cost of the equipment they are looking to raise is £1800. They are already over a third
of the way there, thanks to some very generous donations from their members as well as the
general public. Any amount you can contribute towards this goal would be much appreciated. Follow
this link to their Just Giving page with more details about the project:
5. Alderney Bat Week 20-27 July.
The Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) are delighted to host the Alderney Bat Week 20-27th July 2019,
with Annyctalus Ecology in collaboration with UK based bat researchers and training providers. The
aim of the week will be to substantially grow our knowledge of the resident bat population here on
Alderney which, thanks to Ani Binet, Mariko Whyte, Anna Sutcliffe and the Jersey Bat Group
amongst others, is rapidly expanding. Since 2016 the species list for Alderney has increased by a
further five potential species to give us the list of common soprano, Nathusius’ and potentially Kuhl’s
pipistrelle, as well as grey long-eared, Natterer’s, whiskered and possibly Brandt’s bats and a
confirmed barbastelle:

6. NBMP Field Survey. Volunteers wanted for unallocated sites
We are looking for more volunteers to help with the NBMP Field Survey. Could you use your bat
detecting skills to help us monitor summer activity of our bat populations? By taking part in this
survey you can help us find out how noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano
pipistrelle are faring across the UK. You can sign-up here:
You will need a heterodyne (tunable) bat detector and experience of identifying the target species: Please scroll down the web page and you’ll find a list of sites in your area
that are available to survey.

7. Bat Walk Leaders wanted by The National Trust.

The National Trust at Penrose (Cornwall) would like help with bat walks for the South West Outdoor
Festival on the 27th and 28th of September (See ‘Key Notes’ for your diary). Penrose is a fantastic
property for bats and if you would like to help then please contact Rick Payne (Cornwall Bat Group)
for more details email:
8. The Time is NOW – Mass Lobbying Event in London.
On 26th June thousands of people are gathering at Westminster, central London, to call on
politicians to set the foundations for a brighter, greener and safer world. BCT will have a stall there
and we want to encourage as many people as possible to attend the lobby on the day. As many of
you may know, BCT is a supporter of Greener UK, and has been working with them and the Wildlife
and Countryside Link to encourage the government to strengthen the Environment Bill, and ensure
that our wildlife is protected as and when we leave the EU. The main part of the lobby on the day
will be between 1pm and 4pm, further details are available from: If you
are interested in attending, please email , so we can see how many people are
planning to come.

9. Call for Donations of Bat Research Equipment.

Have you got any Bat Research Equipment you no longer need/use? Discover the Mammals of
Europe is an initiative of the Habitat Foundation, in partnership with
the Dutch Mammal Society and the European Mammal Society. The campaign aims at supporting
organisations and people working on research, management and conservation of the mammals and
their habitats in Europe. Increasing Research and Conservation capacities among mammal biologists
in Eastern Europe is vital for the sustainable conservation of mammal diversity there, and in Europe
as a whole. The bat research equipment you donate will be given as gifts to the mammal
conservationists and researchers in Eastern Europe, who currently lack funds to afford it.
You can send your equipment to: Wildzang 64, Huissen 6852 JR – NL. Since mailing outside the EU is
more expensive and sometimes uncertain if it will ever reach the receiver, they will discuss and find
the best ways to ensure the equipment gets to the place it’s meant to. When/if you send equipment
please let them know by email:
10. The Use of Netting around Potential Roost Sites – BCT’s Position.
There has been quite a lot of coverage on Social Media about the use of netting around potential
roost sites. At BCT we are concerned that the use of netting could have an impact on bats and other
wildlife. Although the use of netting is itself not illegal, it would be unlawful if as a result of its use,
the netting either prevented bats from entering or exiting an existing roost or injured or killed bats.
BCT’s Position Statement can be found here:
11. Bat Groups Guidance Document for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks.
Alongside the BCT Safeguarding Policy, we have produced a guidance document for Disclosure and
Barring Service (DBS) checks. In addition we would recommend bat groups reading the DBS
Eligibility ‘Handiguide’ from SAFEcic UK. If your group is undertaking a project or activities where
you meet the criteria for a DBS check please see the relevant page on the GOV.UK website for details
of how to organise one. Further details, including the guidance document, can be found on the BCT

12. BCT Training Courses. ABST. QGIS. Bearing Witness for Wildlife.

We offer a wide range of training courses for anyone interested in developing their skills and
knowledge of bats, from novice volunteers and professional ecologists to building professionals and
tree surgeons. Details of these and all our Training Events can be found at:
(also in BCT TRAINING)

13. The National Bat Helpline Out of Hours Service.

The National Bat Helpline Out of Hours Service started operation on Friday 24th of May 2019. Just in
time too, since we heard about the first wild born pup recently. Between 24th May and 30th
September 2019, the Out of Hours Service will be open from 6-10 pm Monday-Friday, and from 10
am till 10 pm on weekends and bank holidays. This service is for people who have found grounded or
injured bats, or those wanting to report a bat crime that is in progress at the time of the call.
For other enquiries, please phone during normal office hours.
14. Animal Friends Insurance supporting the National Bat Helpline – Thank you!
One of the organisations that have lent their support to the work done by the National Bat Helpline
is Animal Friends Insurance who have very generously donated £10,000 toward the bat care aspect
of the work done by the Helpline:
15. Bat Research Papers, Reports & Other Batty Media
Please note we normally only include bat related articles, reports and blogs in this section where
they are available to read online or to download without charge. For more information about how to
access journal papers (including details of a variety of relevant open access journals) see the BCT
website at:

16. Key Dates for Your Diary
Watch this space for dates and reminders of conferences, BCT training and other events you may be
interested in. Please don’t forget you can get some extra publicity for your events by getting the
details added to the BCT website, see online for more information.
BCT Events

  • 06 September 2019 – Conservation & Technology Conference, University of Nottingham. For more information or to book your place see:
  • 06-08 September 2019 – National Bat Conference, University of Nottingham. For more information or to book your place see the BCT website at:
  • 09 November 2019 – Scottish Bat Workers Conference, Battleby. **SAVE THE DATE**. For more information see:

BCT Training

  • 21-23 August – Advanced Bat Survey Techniques. Swanage, Dorset. Over three days and two nights, attendees will be given theoretical and practical experiences of acoustic lures, harp traps, mist nets (including triple-high) and radio tracking. Book now to avoid disappointment. More info:
  • 26 October QGIS for Bat Groups – NSBRC, Swindon. This one-day hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to what the QGIS software can offer and how to use it. More info:
  • 13 November – Bearing Witness for Wildlife – nr Rugeley, Staffordshire. This one day course is for anyone wanting to improve their skills in recognising and reporting wildlife crime or when acting as a witness. More info:

Other Events

  • 28 July – 01 August 2019 – 18th International Bat Research Conference (18th IBRC), The Slate, Phuket, Thailand. For more information see the event website:  There are travel grants available for this conference, a BCI grant aimed specifically for  developing countries but also an open grant for anyone who meets the criteria – (see the  IBRC 2019 website for more details)
  • 9-11 August – The London Wildlife Festival: for more details.
  • 24 August – International Bat Night 2019:
  • 31 August – 05 September 2019 XXVII International Bioacoustics Congress, University of Sussex, Brighton. For more information see:
  • 27-28 September. South-West Outdoor Festival. The National Trust at Penrose (Cornwall):
  • 12–13 November 2019 – Communicate, Bristol Zoo. The UK’s conference for environmental communicators. For more information see:
Best wishes,


The NBMP summer survey season is getting into gear with the Roost Count already starting. One way you could assist would be to get in touch with your members to see if they are looking for any help with their counts, such as assistance counting different exit points or help with identifying species at roosts. This could give you an opportunity to match them with other members of the group who do not have their own roost to survey. It would also be great if you could once more encourage members to take part in various NBMP surveys, perhaps by emailing the group something along the lines of:

“The National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) survey season is up and running with the Roost Count starting earlier this week. The Roost Count is an emergence survey which requires no previous experience to take part in. If you know of a new roost which you would like to monitor you can do this by signing up to the NBMP at, volunteering for the Roost Count and adding a new roost.

Volunteers who have already signed up for the Roost Count should have either received an email instructing them to download their survey materials online, or have received their survey packs in the post. You should contact BCT at if this is not the case. If you would like assistance counting bats at a roost or identifying the species then let me know and I can try to arrange this.

Over the last couple of days BCT have also been sending out survey materials to volunteers signed up for the Field Survey. There is still time to sign up to this transect survey which helps monitor pipistrelle, noctule and serotine populations. You can either select a site near you to survey or have one randomly allocated to you. More information can be found at;

I hope this is useful – I was hoping to get this email out before the survey period started, but as I’m sure is the case with many of you, May and the start of June have been quite busy!

If you have any queries please do let me know.

Best Wishes,

David Williamson

NBMP Survey Co-ordinator

Bat Conservation Trust
Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD
Direct Line: 020 7820 7166