Time to renew your membership, Bechstein’s update, AGM MINUTES – 5May20

In this email we have:

  • A reminder that now is the time to renew your SBG membership!
  • The latest updates on our exciting Bechstien’s radio-tracking project.
  • The draft minutes from our AGM which was held last weekend.
  • News that the Bat Care Call Handling Consultation Report is now available.
  • The BCT update on Bats in Churches Surveys 2022.
  • Bookings for Biosecurity & Bats Workshop Now Open.
  • The latest bat group bulletin, which includes National Bat Monitoring Programme Updates.

Membership 2022/3

If you last paid or renewed your SBG membership in 2020 or 2021, it is now time to renew your membership. It costs just £5 per household to stay a member of SBG, and is free for students or unwaged.

Full details are on this page of our website: https://somersetbat.group/join/

  1. Please complete the membership form
  2. Then transfer £5 to our account via bank transfer
    • ACCOUNT NAME : Somerset Bat Group
    • BANK: Lloyds Bank
    • SORT CODE: 30 98 97
    • ACCT NO: 85186668

Bechstein’s Project update

The project aims to radio-track up to 6 Bechstein’s bats in Swell Woods near Langport as part of the (delayed) BCT Bechstein’s “finding its limit” project.

Bank Holiday Monday – night 1

A dry and “not-warm” night, 12 brave souls from the Somerset and Dorset Bat groups trapped a total of 2 brown long-eared, 2 soprano pipistrelles and 2 Natterer’s. But no Bechstein’s … and so …

Paul and Max pointing at a empty harp trapPaul and Max pointing at a empty harp trap
Paul and Max pointing at a empty harp trap

Tuesday 3rd May – night 2

… another night of trapping, with 4 harp traps and 2 mist nets. Eight people out, and a successful night with more bats (19) than people.

The night started with a Barbastelle at 9:30PM and ended at 4:30AM with a Bechstein’s – finally! There was a variety of bat species in between: lesser horseshoe, noctule, whiskered, brown long-eared, Natterer’s and common pipistrelle. Luckily the Bechstein’s was female, and therefore was ringed and a radio tag attached, and “bat 1” was released.

The team will be out tracking her again! (and trying to trap her friends)

Weds 4th May – night 3

Good news, 5 female Bechstein’s now tagged!

Bat1 lead the team to the area of a potential maternity site where harp traps were used to catch 4 more Bechstein’s along with approx 20 other bats.

  • Barbastelle male
  • Brown Long Eared
  • Female brown long-eared
  • lesser hoseshoe3
  • Common Pip
  • Natterers
  • noctule
  • wiskered
  • wiskered wing out

Bat group AGM 2022

Many thanks to all those members who made it to Othery Village Hall to meet in person, for the first time in ages.

Draft minutes of the meeting are now ready for review, please email us any comments: somersetbatgroup@gmail.com.

BCT update – Bat Care Call Handling Consultation Report

“Thank you very much for contributing to the Bat Care Call Handling Consultation a few months ago. Whether that was as a member of the UK Bat Care Network or representing a bat group (or indeed both), we are very grateful that you made the time to share your views with us.

You asked to be notified when the consultation report was published, and I am delighted to let you know you can now find it on the BCT website at: https://www.bats.org.uk/resources/consultation-on-handling-of-bat-care-calls (the web page also has the Q&A document that was produced during the consultation and copies of the two different sets of questions for Network members and bat groups).

Best regards, Lisa

Lisa Worledge (she/her), Head of Conservation Services”

BCT update on Bats in Churches Surveys 2022

“The updated list of churches we particularly hope to survey can be found here. Included in this list is a church in the Bath & Wells diocese (Thornfalcon: Holy Cross , TA3 5NP). We have already received permission for the surveys from all the churches listed.

I’ve shared the complete list this time in case someone is going on a holiday in England this summer and would like to carry out a bat survey while they’re away.

If anyone would be happy to carry out a daytime survey of a church to look for evidence of bats, please email Giada at churches@bats.org.uk by Sunday 8th May.

Everyone can take part, no matter their experience level, and they can find out more information about the surveys via our website, including e-learning resources to develop their skills.

Thank you so much for your continued support of the project. A summary of the records so far can be found on our survey portal.

Best wishes, Claire

Claire Boothby, Training and Survey Officer

Bookings for Biosecurity & Bats Workshop Now Open

“On Wednesday 11th May starting at 7pm, we will be running a workshop specifically for bat groups, on Biosecurity and bats: effective disease risk management.

Biosecurity in relation to activities with bats, such as field work or bat care, is all about having procedures and measures in place to protect people and to protect bats from harmful pathogens. This workshop will be a mixture of interactive presentation and discussion, providing an overview of the current guidance in relation to rabies, SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and white-nose syndrome as well as considering generic good practice in disease risk management when working with bats.

The workshop will be held on Zoom and is free to attend (although donations are most appreciated!). Booking is essential, please use the online form at: https://bats.sym-online.com/registrationforms/biosecurityandbats/ by 5pm on Tuesday 10th May. The workshop will run on the evening of 11th May from 7pm to 9pm, including time for questions.

If you have any questions ahead of the workshop or in relation to booking a place, please contact Lisa Worledge (lworledge@bats.org.uk).

Kind regards, Abby Packham, Bat Groups Officer


The latest bat group bulletin which includes National Bat Monitoring Programme Updates., see link below: