In this message we have:
- An update on the recent Bat Box checks
- Can you help us with … spare bat boxes?
- More on the urgent request for help from the Wildlife Trust & BCT – #DefendNature
- The latest bat group bulletin includes a request that the BCT podcast, BatChat wants our input
1/ Bat Box Checks
On the morning of Saturday 15th Oct, an intrepid band set out into the depths of Great Breach Wood near Street to see if we could refind our bat boxes, which had not been visited since 2019. The aim was to ensure Josh, who is taking over the box checks, would be able to locate all the boxes next time. The undergrowth has shot up since we were last there, so not all boxes were obvious.
Skillfully guided by Dave from the back, and (sometimes mis-) led by Paul from the front, almost all 18 Bat boxes were found, with some Noctules and soprano pipistrelles found in residence.
Moving onto Ham Wall in the afternoon, the groups split up with Dave leading a team to fight into the undergrowth of Meare Heath Loxtons Plot and finding all 8 Schwegler boxes there.
Meanwhile, Paul led the other group to try to re-find the 19 boxes in the northern part of Ham Wall. Unfortunately only 9 were found, some in a very bad way.
As usual with bat work, bats don’t read the manual on what makes a perfect bat box location. Hence in box12, 1.5m off the ground (you don’t need a ladder!), and leaning at 30 degrees, one of the team (who will remain nameless) was surprised to find what she exclaimed as “sh*t loads of bat sh*t”.
This just goes to show that even sub-optimal locations are being used at Ham Wall, and lead to a discussion and agreement on the way out, that we should try to get more bat boxes put up there.
PS – Since the groups visit, the boxes of Ham Wall have been revisited and a further 6 re-found, all of which had fallen 😦
2/ Can you help us with … spare Bat boxes??
Do you have any surplus, or spare bat boxes kicking around in the bottom of your shed? If so, then we would be able to give them a very worthwhile life on several sites across the levels and beyond.
The recent bat box checks have revealed, that many of the wooden boxes that were erected a decade ago are now in a sorry state, and many need replacing.
Even the 25-year guaranteed Schwegler boxes are not immune as we have several with broken fronts. So while we will be applying for grants over the winter to fund new bat boxes, if you do have any surplus, or spare bat boxes then the bats would be very grateful! In particular, does anyone have:
- Any shape, type or construction of wooden bat boxes spare?
- Spare fronts for Schwegler boxes? (a longshot we know) – 1 x 2FN? 2 x 2FS
Our thanks go to one member who has donated 5 bat boxes they found recently in their shed, and started this idea rolling. Some of these boxes are the first wedge design built in 1993 and never used … until now …
Both the Somerset Wildlife Trust and the BCT have recently joined forces with other conservation organisations to stress their great concerns about four key pieces of government policy and legislation.
We encourage everyone who cares about nature to make their views known to your MP on this. Both organisations have published urgent requests for help. More details on the links below:
From the Bat Conservation Trust:
- 27th Oct 22 – Legislative concerns
- Nature and business are not at war
- 10th Oct 22 – A world rich in wildlife where bats and people thrive together
From the Somerset Wildlife Trust:
- #DefendNature: We Need You
- #Defend Nature Blog
- 12th Oct 22 – Stephen Moss President of SWT wrote “Don’t let them get away with it”
Contact details of our local Somerset MPs, can be found in our previous newsletter.
4/ BAT GROUP BULLETIN
The latest edition includes a request that the BCT podcast, BatChat wants our input: