We need your help – Greater Horseshoe radio tracking and Bat events

In this message we have

  • A request for help from UWE with Greater Horseshoe radio tracking in Somerset
  • Could you help out your Bat group by leading some Bat Walks?
  • Details of changes to the National Bat Helpline
  • An update on membership renewals

And just in case you missed it our last message includes details of:

Help needed with Greater Horseshoe radio tracking

The group has received the following request from the UWE Bat Lab, can you help Tom out? His email below:

UWE Bat Lab

“Dear Bat Group Members,

I’m conducting a greater horseshoe bat radio-tracking study from August-September and need some assistance! 

I’m after people who can commit to a few consecutive nights at a time, as many times as possible over the study period. Due to covid restrictions I have to limit the number of volunteers, unfortunately this means I can’t have people coming out for just the odd night. Previous radio-tracking experience would be really useful but is not essential as training will be provided. Work will involve tracking bats all night from dusk until dawn, volunteers must be happy to do this. Tracking will be centred around a number of GHS roost sites – Mells, Shapwick Heath, Iford (just in Wilts) and Brockley (North Somerset). 

The project is part of my PhD research, I’m gathering data to ground-validate spatial models of habitat suitability and landscape connectivity that I’m developing for Natural England. Models will give Natural England a detailed understanding of how greater horseshoe bats use the landscape across Somerset and will be used to inform local planning and development decisions, to minimise the impact of development on greater horseshoe bats.

If you’re interested please get in touch on the email address below with your availability and info on any previous tracking experience.


Thomas Foxley Postgraduate Researcher
E: thomas.foxley@uwe.ac.uk
M: +44(0)7789251844
Bat Conservation Research Lab. Dept. of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY”

Could you help out your Bat group by leading some Bat Walks or events?

It has been a very quiet year or so for bat events, however now things are opening up again we in the Somerset bat group, are getting LOTS of requests for bat walks, talks and events.

Over the past few years the group has relied on several key volunteers, who have lead many events. However as some are now stepping back, and some have other commitments, we are now having to say no to potential bat education events.

So CAN YOU HELP? There are many experienced bat workers and ecologists in the group with a wealth of bat knowledge, hence could you perhaps help out for a night or two? We know it’s a big ask, as these are usually in the middle of “the season”, but without more bat group event leaders we are going to have to decline more, and more invitations.

If anyone is worried about leading a bat session, the bat group can provide:

  • The opportunity to shadow one of our experienced leaders, to see how they do it.
  • We have 3 sets of a dozen bat detectors spread round the county, that can be loaned out to leaders for events.
  • The boring stuff done for you … Risk assessments, admin, third party insurance .. etc

If anyone can help that would be fantastic. To give an idea, requests that came in over the last week included:

  • Open day and advice in Farrington Gurney
  • Waterway survey help in Stogumber
  • Bridgwater Meads Bat walk/talk

Contact us at the usual email to discuss helping, the group would be so grateful! somersetbatgroup@gmail.com

Changes to the National Bat Helpline

The National Bat Helpline has a new way of working, they have successfully launched their new pilot project, the Volunteer Bat Care Helpline, where volunteers take the Helpline’s bat care calls both during working hours as well as outside them. 

They also wanted to let us know about the other changes that the Helpline have recently implemented, designed to reduce overall call volumes and the time staff spend answering simple queries.

Please see this document for full details.

Membership for 2021

As explained in previous messages, it is time to renew SBG membership. What you need to do, depends on when you last paid membership subs:

35 members who last paid membership subs in 2019 …

Please complete the renewal form by 30th June 2021. Renewal this year is free.  If you do not complete the renewal by 30/6/21, we will not have your consent to our GDPR statement and hence we will have to remove your email address from our mailing lists at this time.

33 members who last paid membership subs in 2020 …

Please complete the renewal form as soon as you can to update your details for free. As you have already agreed to our current GDPR statement, we will keep you on our email lists until our next AGM in April 2022.

89 members who last paid subs in 2021 or recently renewed your membership …

Thank you! You are a current member, and there is no need to do anything. Your membership will expire at the 2022 AGM on 30th April 2022.

If you are not sure when you last paid …

All current members should have had an email explaining what to do. So if not, just email us and we can sort it out: somersetbatgroup@gmail.com

If you are new and would like to become a member …

You are very welcome! Full details of how to join are here: https://somersetbat.group/join/