Take part in our Big Bat Count – 3Apr23

In this bat group newsletter, we have:

  • How you can take part in our new project, the Big Bat Count
  • Loads of batty events coming soon.
  • Greater horseshoe talk follow-up.
  • All pre-AGM reports are now ready for review, and a last reminder to come along!
  • Pre-details of free GIS training for group members from SERC.
  • Welcome Daniel to the Bat Group Committee! Plus we are still looking for a new Secretary.
  • The latest edition of the Bat Group bulletin includes news of; the delay in the publication of the 4th Edition of the Bat Survey Guidelines and updated ‘Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK’ Guidance notes.

Take part in our Big Bat Count!

As members of the group, there are several ways you can get involved in our Big Bat Count.

Help organise a Community group Big Bat Count

Any group of adults can ask for a Big Bat Count of their area. So if you are part of, or know about, a community group (wildlife, gardening, church …etc), or just a group of friends or neighbours, in Somerset who would like to do a Big Bat Count on their patch, then please do get in touch – somersetbatgroup@gmail.com

Take part in the Big Bat Count as an individual

Everyone can take part! The bat group would like to encourage all members to upload verifiable flight records of bats to the iNaturalist database. We have a very easy way to do this, even in batches! Once verified, these will then be added automatically to the database of the Somerset Environmental Records Centre. Full details on the links below:

Anyone who has recordings of bats echolocation in Somerset can take part, and even if you don’t have your own recordings you can still help the Somerset Big Bat Count by validating the records posted by others.

Help out on the night of a group Big Bat Count!

The start and end of each group Big Bat Count is always a bit of “organised chaos”. As many hands make light work, please do come along and get involved! There is always lots to do with the kit, 101 batty questions to answer, and we even get to do a bit of quiet bat-watching in between.

Please do contact the organiser of each group count to offer to help out on a count night.

Bat Group events coming up!

Lots of events planned for the early season, come along and get involved!:

  • Sat 22nd April @2PM – Bat Group Annual General Meeting, see below
  • Sat 22nd April @ 7:30PM – Yeovil Big Bat Count for Earth Day – See posterPublic booking link
  • Mon 8th May @ 8PM – Drayton Big Bat Count
  • Fri 12th May @ 8PM – Frome Big Bat Count
  • Fri 19th May @ 8:15PM – Buckland St Mary Big Bat Count
  • Sat 20th May @ 10AM – Great Breach Wood and Ham Wall Bat Box checks
  • Sun 21st May @ 11AM – Harridge Woods Bat Boxes, and possibly Keepers Bat house checks
  • Sat 27th May @ 10:30AM – Levels Bat Box checks
  • Sun 28th May @ 11AM – Edford Woods Bat Boxes, and possibly Wadbury Bat house checks

For details on how to join these events please see the Upcoming Events page on our website: https://somersetbat.group/events/upcoming/

Greater horseshoe talk – follow up

A huge thank you to Tom Foxley from the Ecology and Conservation Research Lab at the University of the West of England for presenting his fascinating research on Greater Horseshoes across greater Somerset to us recently. Unfortunately due to UWE admin permissions his talk was unable to be recorded.

Tom asked that we mention some more Bat Lab events coming up.

Thanks again Tom!

BAT GROUP Annual Metting – 22ND APRIL 2023

The pre-meeting reports are now posted here, ready for review

Last years 2022 AGM minutes and accounts can also be found on the same page

Our 2023 AGM will be held in Othery Village Hall again, central Somerset

If you would prefer not to attend in person, we hope to stream the meeting via Zoom.

However, it is worth pointing out, that as we found last year, trying to Zoom a meeting where many people in the same room are all online, can be a frustrating (and deafening) view. Hence please do come along in person if you would like to fully contribute

If you would like to:

  • raise any matter as AOB at the AGM,
  • stand for the committee of SBG, 
  • or send your apologies if you can’t attend

Then please email us ASAP:  somersetbatgroup@gmail.com

GIS training on offer from SERC

The Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) are planning to offer members of all specialist groups free training in QGIS this year.

There are a few potential dates to choose from:

Contact Leon at SERC directly if you would like more details.


A huge welcome and thank you to Daniel Hargreaves who has recently joined the committee.

Daniel will need little introduction, as he has done so much in the bat world, and taken such amazing bat photos along the way. Some may recall Dan’s excellent talk about his work on the National Nathusius’ Pipistrelle Project that he gave at our 2019 AGM.

While on the subject of SBG committee, we are still looking for a new Secretary. You can find out all about the role here. This role might be suitable for a job share, perhaps if one person was interested in the socials and communication (email/web) side of the role, it could easily be split with another person. If you are interested, please do email us before the AGM – somersetbatgroup@somersetbatgroup

Bat group bulletin

The latest edition includes news of the delay in the publication of the 4th Edition of the Bat Survey Guidelines and updated ‘Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK’ Guidance notes.