Category Archives: SBG News

Urgent call to action – early October 2019

Hi batty friends!

Lots to update you on this month, with reports, and an urgent request from help from the BCT

Urgent call to action!
The group received an URGENT call to action from the BCT this week regarding the government’s centrepiece environmental legislation, the Environment Bill.  Full details below.  To get involved directly in this important campaign sign up here:

Bat Box checks
Cath and other members checked 20 boxes at Comeytrowe Park and Longrun Meadow on 21st Sept, and were happy to found a male Common Pipistrelle in a box at Longrun.  Photos on our Facebook Group:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/somersetbat/ 

Group Donation to “Ringing the Changes”

The committee have this month agreed to make a £500 donation to the BCT appeal to help fund a National database for Bat ring numbers.  Details of this important and exciting project below, and they would welcome any other donations to the project.

Lastly also copied below is an update from the BCT on the exciting Bats in Churches project, and you can find lots more  information in the Latest Bat Group Bulletin Sept 2019 #170

 

===== Urgent call to action on the  Environment Bil  ====

We expect the government’s centrepiece environmental legislation, the Environment Bill, to have its first reading in the House of Commons very soon. This legislation is the government’s answer to an urgent environmental need and is meant to be a landmark commitment to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. We want to make sure that the Environment Bill meets these objectives and is fit for purpose to protect bats and their habitats. But to do this we need your help!

We want to be ready to respond to the Bill quickly when it is presented to parliament, here are three things you can do to help us prepare:

  • We plan to continue sending your, bat group contact, information and calls to action as they become available. . We also plan to have a webpage that is regularly updated with information and will share that with you via the normal bat group bulletin.
  • Please share this email with bat group members and encourage anyone who wants to receive further information and get involved directly in this important campaign to sign up here:
  • Can you let us know if you already have an existing relationship or contact with your local MP or with any ministers. Personal contacts like this will be particularly valuable. Please email: CEO@bats.org.uk

Whilst the Environment Bill refers principally to England, it also covers elements that that are not devolved to the countries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also want to make sure that high standards of environmental protection and governance are at least maintained, if not improved upon, across all the countries of the UK. Therefore it will be important to make sure that the legislation in the other countries is also fit for purpose. Every voice will make a difference in our campaign to protect and enhance our environment at this critical time for nature and the climate.

Thank you for your support and we will be in touch again soon.

Bat Conservation Trust

========== Ringing the Changes Project ==========

Dear Bat Groups,

I am delighted to let you know that BCT is finally in a position to move forward with our Ringing the Changes Project, which aims to establish a set of guidelines and a centralised database for bat ringing in the UK. We will be issuing a tender for the new database this autumn and are beginning to put together a panel of experts to help with the guidelines.

We are very grateful for the promise of substantial financial support for the project from South Lancashire Bat Group (SLBG) and also to the other bat groups that have already made donations towards this important work. However, we still have a shortfall for the overall project budget of about £10,000 (and this is even greater when we consider the ongoing running costs of a centralised ringing database in the coming years). We are therefore sending out this appeal (which will be going direct to ringers as well being sent to bat groups) to help raise the remaining funds we need.

Background

Bat ringing is a long established research technique in the UK that has become more widely used in recent years. A growing number of researchers, bat groups and consultants are involved in long-term ringing projects. Despite this increase in use and the requirement of centralised recording systems in accordance with EUROBATS Resolution No. 4.6 in 2003 (Guidelines for the Issue of Permits for the Capture and Study of Captured Wild Bats), there is no centralised database for ringing records (only ring sales) and no specific UK-wide guidelines on ringing. BCT took over ring sales from the Mammal Society (MS) in September 2012 (prior to MS they had been administered by Dr Bob Stebbings).

Why do we need a ringing database and guidelines?

A range of techniques are used in applying bat rings and guidelines would allow effective sharing of expertise and agreed best practice. A national database would enable reporting on critical information that is currently unavailable, such as total numbers of bats ringed, ringing injuries, recapture rates and species longevity. Such information would support other conservation work by providing a national context for local data. It will also facilitate the sharing of recovery information where ringed bats are found by other people, for example members of the public. Currently found ringed bats are matched through sales data, which provides no information on when bats were ringed and only the broadest information on where (anything from site to county or even country!). More effective methods for matching ringed bats with ringers will facilitate sharing of valuable recapture data.

 Where have we got to so far?

Whilst attempts in the 1980s to centralise bat ringing records were not successful, agreement in principle to both guidelines and a database was gained from attendees (including very experienced ringers) of a bat ringing workshop at the 2013 National Bat Conference. This was reinforced and further developed during Phase 1 of the Ringing the Changes Project (funded by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species). Through a questionnaire to ringers and a one day workshop in February 2015, agreement was reached on the broad content of bat ringing guidelines and of a centralised database.

The minimum compulsory content (enforced through licensing) of a centralised database of ringed bats was decided upon and the frequency of reporting was also agreed. Consideration was given to how people would like to be able to enter data as well as some of the optional information that people may wish to provide (for example on recaptures). Agreement was also reached on data sharing, ensuring this was within the control of the people providing information. During Phase 1 of the Project the main Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations (SNCOs; the relevant licensing authorities) also indicated their support of these aims and their willingness to include appropriate conditions in licences for ringing activities to ensure the submission of records.

Unfortunately our second application to PTES for further funding to complete the project was unsuccessful. Since then capacity issues and lack of funding have delayed further progress. We have resolved the capacity issues and the pledge from SLBG plus the donations from other groups mean we are finally in a position to deliver the project.

 What will happen next?

Thanks to a promise of funding from SLBG and the donations received from other groups, we are now beginning Phase 2 of the Ringing the Changes Project. It is expected to take about a year. The objectives for the project are to:

  1. Write, edit, review, publish and disseminate a single set of guidelines for ringing bats in the UK.
  2. Design, test and set-up a centralised ringing UK bat ringing database.

We are grateful for any financial support that bat groups and ringers can offer (in the words of a certain supermarket ‘every little helps’) and we are also exploring other avenues to make-up any shortfall (including other funders and crowdsourcing for the guidelines).

If you or any members of your bat group have questions about this appeal or the project please do get in touch. I will be at the Conservation Technology and National Conferences in Nottingham this weekend so you are also most welcome to come and find me there.

To end I would just like to say a huge thank you to all of the support that this project has received so far, whether financial or with other offers of help and support. I am really excited that we are in a position to finally make this happen.

Kind regards,  Lisa

Lisa Worledge
Head of Conservation Services
Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD
Direct line: 020 7820 7176

======  Bats in Churches Project update =======

Hello everyone.

It’s the end of the summer season and we thought it was a great time to provide a bit of an update about the Bats in Churches project. Please forward this to the other members of group or others you feel would be interested in the project.

This summer the project has worked with 12 ecological consultants to conduct over 90 professional bat surveys at 31 churches. We’ve also been working with heritage consultants to help conserve historic monuments and artwork. The project team have already attended 74 engagement events, from church visits, to meetings with the Diocese, to events, talks and training workshops. Most recently I’ve particularly enjoyed meeting so many dedicated people at the National Bat Conference.

We’ve also had our first year of the Bats in Churches Studywhich will give us up to date information on how many churches have bat roosts, and importantly, what the main factors are driving the likelihood of churches being used by bats. A huge thank you to those who have taken part, we’ve now had surveys at 49 churches in England! We hope that many more of you will be able to help over the coming three years to survey your local church. We’re just analysing the data from this summer, getting the DNA analysis results back and wading through sound files,  and we’ll send out the results later in the year.

We’re very happy to say that we’ve received a lot of positivity around the project. You may have even seen the work from one of the pilot churches in the news. The mitigation works were carried out by Wild Wings Ecology, who can confirm that this year saw the highest-ever count of soprano pipistrelles in the emergence surveys (over 700). Obviously we’ll continue to monitor this roost in future years and provide updates on this church. Hopefully there will be plenty of similar good news stories for people and bats in coming years.

Already it’s clear that relationships cultivated between members of the local bat or wildlife groups, with church representatives, can go a long way to foster a more bat friendly culture in churches. Many people have spoken to us about wanting work closely with churches or survey them for NBMP – thank you! We know there are limitations on time and resources. As a project we’d like to build capacity for bat groups and we’d like your opinion. If you want to get involved with local churches, but feel there are barriers, you’d love to hear from you via this online survey.

Thanks again for your support and please do get in touch if you have any questions, want to get involved or you’re interested in a Bats in Churches talk. If you haven’t done so already, you can always sign up to the Bats in Churches e-newsletter on our website (www.batsandchurches.org.uk) to get regular updates.

Best wishes,

Claire
Claire Boothby
Training and Survey Officer
Direct line: 020 7820 7173
cboothby@bats.org.uk

 

 

SBG News early Sept 2019

Hi bat group members,

We may be coming towards the end of the Bat season, but there is still lots going on, Walks, Bat Boxes and latest BCT news in this email.
1/ TAUNTON BAT BOX CHECKS
Saturday 21st September 10am to around midday.
20 bat boxes were placed in Comeytrowe park and Longrun Meadow last year and we’re hoping that bat may have started using them. The box check will start at 10am at Comeytrowe Park before moving onto Longrun and finish around midday / early afternoon.
Booking essential – please contact Cath
2/ UPCOMING BAT WALKS
Following Dave’s hugely popular SWT walk at the Bishops Palace.  There are still more walks coming up.  Help from Bat Group Members is appreciated, please contact the leader if offering to help    https://somersetbat.group/events/
  • Frome Bat Walk for Frome FROGS – Sat 7th September 2019 – Contact Adel
  • near Frome, for Beacon Hill Society – Weds 11th September 2019- Contact Adel or Liz Elay
  • Wells for the local scouts – Weds 18th Sept – Contact Dave
3/  LATEST BCT newsletter
Packed with lots of info – click here

SBG newsletter late July 2019 – Surveys, conferences and awards

Hi Somerset batters,

There is lots going on at the moment, with the NBMP Field Surveys just finishing, and the British Bat Surveys underway.   The Waterways surveys are due to start soon, and the Bats in Churches survey has kicked off, so there are lots of chances to get involved.

Below is the latest Bulletin from the BCT, with lots of details of exciting conferences and courses, and full details in the links.

Also below are the voting details for the annual Pete Guest award, which recognises lifetime contribution to Bat Conservation.  Details of the nominees, and how to vote below.

Kind regards

Somerset Bat Group

https://somersetbat.group

===========================

Dear bat group member.

Welcome to the July edition of the Bat Group Bulletin.

I’m sure, like many bats groups you are enjoying the fine weather that’s allowing you to undertake lots of bat counts and batty activities? We’re looking forward to hearing all about it towards the end of the summer. There are some very interesting Batty Papers, Dates for your Diary and Training

Places are limited for the ABST Course in Dorset in August, so book early to avoid disappointment. For more details look  under BCT Training

Three Flyers are linked below in this Bulletin, promoting the National Bat Conference, the Conservation and Technology Conference and the Advanced Bat Survey Technique Course. Bookings are only open for another three weeks.

  1. Advanced Bat Survey Techniques – 21-23 AUGUST. BOOK NOW!
  2. The Pete Guest Award. Voting is open – VOTE NOW!
  3. NBMP Waterway Survey – SIGN UP NOW!
  4. New home for the back catalogue of Scottish BATS.
  5. International Bat Night – less than a month away. Bat Night Pack available.
  6. Back from the Brink in the Lottery Award finals – VOTE NOW!
  7. The Whitley Awards 2020 are now open to apply for conservation funding.
  8. Bat Research Papers, Reports & Other Batty Media.
  9. Key Dates for Your Diary – Including BCT Events and Training.

Full details of the July 2019 Bat Group Bulletin – #168 

=====================================

Pete Guest Award 2019 – Voting Now Open

Thank you to everyone who has provided nominations for the Pete Guest Award this year. Please find attached the nominations document for 2019, which includes the list of nominees, the statement(s) of support submitted for each, and details of how to vote. Also attached is a form for postal votes (NB please do not use this form for votes by email). These documents are also available on the BCT website at:www.bats.org.uk/pages/nationalconferenceawards.html

To register your vote by email:

  • Please copy and paste the relevant voting reference (see table on page 2 of the attached nominations document) into the subject of a new email
  • Write your name and bat group (if you are a member of one) only in the main body of text
  • Email to: cmorris@bats.org.ukby 5.30 pm on Wednesday 21st August.

Please be aware that if the voting reference has not been entered correctly, your vote may not be registered. Therefore please double check before sending.

To register your vote by post:

  • Print out and complete the voting form attached to this email
  • Return the form to: Pete Guest Award, FAO Colin Morris, Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London. SE11 5RD by Wednesday 21stAugust.

Votes received after 5.30pm on 21st August will not be valid, therefore please ensure you allow sufficient time for delivery.

If you have any questions about the voting process please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email:cmorris@bats.org.uk or call 020 7820 7193.

Pete Guest Award: 2019

Somerset Bat Group July newsletter – Surveys underway ….

Hi Bat Group Members,
The survey season is now well underway, the National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP) Roost emergence surveys have just finished, while the Field Surveys are just starting.
A new exciting survey has just started, the SW pilot of the British Bat survey.  This innovative project eventually aims to  launch  nationally. To enable this the project team are developing an automated, end-to-end system for monitoring bats. This system will include a low-cost full spectrum bat detector, an app that allows volunteers to send audio recordings to a central server for processing, a suite of software algorithms that automatically detect and classify bat calls to species and a portal to feed the results back to volunteers.
Of the 40 pilot Audiomoth devices now deployed in the South West, 5 have been allocated to Somerset:
  • Four are in the north of the county in a line from Ham Wall, throught, Wells and Oakhill to Frome.
  • The fifth is in the south of Somerset, in wellington.
For this pilot the Audiomoths are deployed on non consecutive nights, with the recordings been returned to the BCT in the post on micro SD cards.   As the Audiomoths currently produce about 28Gb of recordings a night, the full end to end systems may not be possible until until the onboard software can trigger recording on detecting bats.   But overall this new tech. shows great promise.

Copied below is also the latest information form the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT)

  1. June edition of the Bat Group Bulletin
  2. Can you help with the Bats in Churches Study?
  3. Survey dates for the NBMP Field Surveys
  4. NBMP Bat Monitoring Post – June 2019
Hope you are all enjoying the insect filled nights!
Kind regards
Andy Avery
Membership Secretary

Somerset Bat Group
—————————————————————
June edition of the Bat Group Bulletin
Dear bat group member.
Welcome to the June edition of the Bat Group Bulletin. With everyone being so busy at this time of year you’ll be delighted to know it isn’t too long. Two very important Award deadlines have been extended, so please send in your nominations soon. There are some very interesting Batty Papers, Dates for your Diary and Training Events towards the bottom of the Bulletin that you might like to look at?
1. The Pete Guest Award. Nomination date deadline extended to 8th July.
2. Bats in Churches Study goes live!
3. The Vincent Weir Scientific Award. Nomination date deadline extended to 5th July.
4. Update on Modern Roofing Materials.
5. Update on The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
6. National shortage of Mealworms.
7. International Bat Night, posters available.
8. Bat Research Papers, Reports & Other Batty Media.
9. Key Dates for Your Diary.

1. The Pete Guest Award. Nomination date deadline extended to 8th July.

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. Full details of how to
nominate and the previous winners are on the BCT website at: https://bit.ly/1q2ZvVG
2. Bats in Churches Study goes live – England only.
We are glad to say that we’ve just opened our brand new Bats in Churches Study and we hope that
many of you will take part! You can find out more and join the survey here. We’d really appreciate
your help in surveying churches this July for the National Bats in Churches Study, and over the
following three summer seasons (June and July). This is the first year of the survey and we would
welcome your feedback. Please get in if you have any questions (churches@bats.org.uk).
3. The Vincent Weir Scientific Award. Nomination date deadline extended to 5th July.
The Vincent Weir Scientific Award aims to reward and encourage research on the conservation
biology of bats by new researchers, and to recognize the late Hon. Vincent Weir’s major
contributions to bat conservation over many years. The prize was first presented at the National Bat
Conference in 2010 and has been awarded in each year since. For details of how to submit a
nomination see: https://bit.ly/2KLix3J

4. Update on Modern Roofing Materials.

BCT, the SNCOs (NE, NRW and SNH) met with Emmanuel Essah of University of Reading on 15th May
in a bid to move forward on the question of what constitutes a roofing membrane safe to use where
bats are or could be present. Plans are underway to publish a methods paper that will allow the
independent testing of membranes for this function. https://bit.ly/31Cgcwo
5. Update on the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
We’ve recently received a question about the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving
Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, which came into force last October: https://bit.ly/2MVFFNZ
A carer wanted to know whether it meant a licence would be required to show education bats at
public events. On reading the legislation, it appears it only applies to commercial enterprises, so bat
carers shouldn’t be affected. However, it wouldn’t hurt to double-check with your local authority to
ensure they interpret the law the same way. If you do find that your local authority tries to make
you apply for a licence, please let me know: cmorris@bats.org.uk.
6. National Shortage of Mealworms.
The UK is once again facing a major mealworm shortage. Livefoods Direct (the suppliers) are still
selling the worms, but have limited the quantity each customer can have. BCT is very happy to put
carers who have surplus mealworms in touch with those who don’t have enough. If you can offer
mealworms or are in need of them, please e-mail batcare@bats.org.uk with full details and we will
do our best to help.
7. International Bat Night.
This annual celebration of bats will be taking place over the weekend of 24-25 August. More details
are on the BCT website at: https://bit.ly/2XVHfR7 If you are organising a bat walk, talk or other
event to celebrate the event please do email comms@bats.org.uk with details of your event.
If you wish to announce your event with a EUROBATS poster, please send EUROBATS your order and
they will ship the posters at the end of July/beginning of August. The posters and the delivery are
free of charge https://bit.ly/2ZAelqY
8. 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.

  • Glow-in-the-dark vampire bats could help curtail rabies. American Scientist Streicker and other researchers have found culling reduces bat bite on humans and livestock but is inadequate for rabies prevention. https://bit.ly/31FpYxT
  • Thousands of flying foxes killed in Cairns’ heatwave. Thousands of flying foxes that died in the Far North’s heatwave have been highlighted in a documentary by Sir David Attenborough as being a symptom of climate change (8 minutes and 17 seconds in). https://bbc.in/2UGbLRk
  • Bat Pass Duration Measurement. An Indirect Measure of Distance of Detection.  https://bit.ly/2WOcXyl
  • Maternal mouth-to-mouth feeding behaviour in flower-visiting bats.  https://bit.ly/2IZWemT
  • Spending two hours a week in nature is linked to better health and well-being. Going out doing ’batty things’ is not only great fun, it’s good for you. The idea that spending recreational time in natural settings is good for our health and wellbeing is hardly new. Parents have been telling their kids to “go play outside, it’s good for you” for generations. https://bit.ly/2x78TPc
  • Bat overpasses. A potential solution to restore habitat connectivity across roads. https://bit.ly/2ZI4sGQ
  • Journal of Bat Research & Conservation. Is an annual peer-review scientific journal,  managed and distributed by SECEMU, that provides a platform to publish studies on bats covering all possible perspectives and author interests. Sign-up for the free Newsletter.  https://bit.ly/2J1hUiu
  • Farmers and conservationists on the same page about a brighter farming future.  https://bit.ly/2Xhmwet

9. 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: https://bit.ly/2UaTLT
  • 06-08 September 2019 – National Bat Conference. University of Nottingham. For more information or to book your place see the BCT website at: https://bit.ly/2DFW2I9
  • 09 November 2019 – Scottish Bat Workers Conference. Battleby. For more information:  https://bit.ly/2vjCS5H

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. Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment. For more information: https://bit.ly/2MgOWjE
  • 25 September – Thermal-Aided Bat Surveys. Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, near Coventry.  This one-day course is designed for those with bat survey experience who would like to add thermal imaging techniques to aid them in their bat survey work. This is a classroom-based course with an optional practical element led by Dr Kayleigh Fawcett-Williams: https://bit.ly/2X1K7dU
  • 15 October – Surveying trees for bats. Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, Berks. This one day course builds on participants’ existing knowledge and provides an understanding of trees and the techniques needed to survey them effectively. The course combines theoretical classroom sessions with a practical exercise outside: https://bit.ly/2ZIIyTP26
  • 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. For more information: https://bit.ly/2YIGKtz
  • 13 November – Bearing Witness for Wildlife. 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. For more information: https://bit.ly/2EtgnjK

For more information about training events please see the BCT website: https://bit.ly/2WvkTIx

Other Events.
  • 28 July – 01 August 2019 – 18th International Bat Research Conference. The Slate, Phuket, Thailand. For more information see the event website: https://www.ibrc2019.com/. 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): https://bit.ly/2XHLTle
  • 09-11 August – The London Wildlife Festival: For more details: https://bit.ly/2FrkRXN
  • 24 August – International Bat Night 2019: To register your event and order your free Poster to publicise your event, please visit: https://bit.ly/2ZAelqY
  • 31 August – 05 September 2019 – XXVII International Bioacoustics Congress. University of Sussex, Brighton. For more information: http://www.2019.ibac.info/
  • 12-13 November 2019 – Communicate. Bristol Zoo. The UK’s conference for environmental communicators. For more information: https://bit.ly/2PyJfeQ

Save the Date.

Back issues of the bulletin (a rolling 12-months) are available on the BCT website at https://bit.ly/2GGoYRK and following requests from bat groups we are now adding the latest bulletin on the day it is circulated to bat groups.

Best wishes,

Colin.

Colin Morris
Bat Groups Officer
Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD
Direct line: 020 7820 7193
National Bat Helpline: 0345 1300 228 (hours of service are 09.30 to 16.30, Monday to Friday)
There are dedicated Bat Group pages on the BCT website at:  https://www.bats.org.uk/resources/resources-for-bat-groups
——————————————————————
Can you help us with the Bats in Churches Study?

Lisa Worledge
Thu, 27 Jun, 17:51 (9 days ago)

Dear all,

We were in touch with you last month about the start of the five year Bats in Churches Project and provided information about the churches involved that are in you bat group’s area.   https://batsinchurches.bats.org.uk/

Thank you for your fantastic responses.

In that email we mentioned an upcoming citizen science survey, which will enable us to get really useful, national data on how bats use churches and the perspectives of those caring for these historic buildings. We are glad to say that the Bats in Churches Study is now live on the website and we hope that many of you will take part. We do have a maximum number of equipment kits to loan out for the survey, so please join soon and select a church to survey to avoid disappointment!

You can find out more (and hopefully join the survey) here. https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/surveys/bats-in-churches-study

This National Bats in Churches Study aims to survey a random stratified sample of 1000 churches in England over four years. We’d really appreciate your bat group’s help in surveying churches this July as part of the study, and over the following three summer seasons (June and July). Before you join the survey you can see a map of the local the churches near you.

When you select a church you’ll undertake a one-off survey, which will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. You’ll talk to church representatives, look for evidence of bats in churches, take dropping samples for DNA analysis and put out a static bat detector for a couple of nights.

As this is the first year of the survey we would particularly welcome your feedback and suggestions.

If you need help with the survey, or have any questions about the survey or the Bats in Churches project, please get in touch with Claire Boothby at churches@bats.org.uk.

Kind regards,

Lisa Worledge

Head of Conservation Services
Bat Conservation Trust, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5RD
Direct line: 020 7820 7176

—————————————————————————-

From: NBMP Team <nbmp@bats.org.uk>
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2019 1:47:54 PM
To: andy@nettlebridge.com
Subject: This year’s Field Survey is about to begin!

The National Bat Monitoring Programme.

It’s time for this year’s Field Survey!
July is nearly upon us, so please make sure you’re prepared and have everything you need for the Field Survey. If you haven’t downloaded your resource pack yet, it’s quick and easy to do – you can click the button below or download them from your account here.

Download Resource Pack
The survey periods are:

Period 1 – between 1st and 15th July
Period 2 – between 16th and 30th July

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk if you have any questions or if you’d prefer to receive a pre-printed survey pack by post.

Thank you very much for your help and we hope you enjoy your surveys!

NBMP Team
Bat Conservation Trust
Email: nbmp@bats.org.uk
Phone: 020 7820 7166

————————————————————-
From: National Bat Monitoring Programme Team <nbmp@bats.org.uk>
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2019 5:42:25 PM
Subject: Bat Monitoring Post – June 2019

Welcome to the June edition of the Bat Monitoring Post!

Over the past couple of weeks many parts of the country have endured thunderstorms and torrential rain which can only mean one thing – the Great British Summer is here! We hope all your bat surveys go well this year, whether you are already busy with the Roost Count and Sunset/Sunrise Survey, or are preparing to take part in the Field Survey or Waterway Survey. If you’re not signed up to take part in specific surveys yet, it’s not too late to do so! You can find out more about the different surveys on our website and volunteer for them on your online account. If you need any advice on taking part then please do contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk.

Contents

  1. NBMP Annual Report
  2. Bat Tales
  3. Roost Count
  4. Preparing for the Field Survey
  5. Available Survey Sites
  6. Sunset/Sunrise Survey
  7. Regional Spotlight
  8. Winner of the Kate Barlow Award 2019
  9. Impact of Hedgerow Management on Bats
  10. The Vincent Weir Scientific Award for Bat Research
  11. More Dates for your Diary

1. NBMP Annual Report
The NBMP Annual Report has now been published, covering the latest bat species population trends up to 2018. This wouldn’t be possible without all of your amazing efforts, so we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributes data to the NBMP!
To read the full report click here. https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/reports/nbmp-annual-report

2. Bat Tales
Bat Tales is our new regular feature! At the BCT head offices we often recite tales of our bat surveys, whether it’s a memorable moment, a funny incident or interesting observations about our local bats. We thought it would be great to hear some of your own stories. Over the coming months we will be asking questions on the NBMP Facebook Group and publishing a selection of the best answers. Look out for our next question in a few weeks’ time.

“What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve had from passers by when you’re doing a bat survey?”

“Whilst doing a dusk survey at a church, a guy kept walking back and forth, he eventually asked a colleague what was going on and had he seen the ghost….me……not everyday you spot a ghost sat in a camping chair in a grave yard.”

“One time a small group of us were doing a walked transect all carrying bat detectors. A bunch of teenagers were approaching and we wondered how they would react. As they walked past they shouted “Ghostbusters!!”

“The police stopped one evening as I was sat by a roadside surveying, and said they were shocked to see the mannequin moving…they were informed that we were “Dummies” put out by the contractors to add to security!”

“I was sitting using my single red LED to see to write on the survey sheet. A jovial passer by asked what I was doing so I told him I was “(insert town name)’s smallest and most unsuccessful red light district.”

“I knew someone was rough sleeping at the far end of the churchyard. I had the darkest survey spot. I saw someone coming across the grass and I moved towards the dark area so I wouldn’t be seen. He shouted “Don’t worry Miss. I’m Nigel, I sleep down here, and I’ll look out for you till you’re all finished.” Apparently the vicar had warned him so he wouldn’t be frightened of us.”

3. Roost Count 
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Roost Count so far this year, we hope it has been a successful year for you all and that you’ve managed to get your counts in despite the terrible weather some areas of the country have faced!

The survey is still ongoing and you should aim to carry out your second survey anytime from now until 25th June (for all species other than horseshoe bats) – however counts made up to 29th June can be used for species population trends. Equally the lesser horseshoe core survey period continues until 27th June, but counts up to 1st July can be used for the trends.

If there are any more roosts out there currently going uncounted, or not included as part of the NBMP, then we’re always keen to hear about them. Simply add them to the Roost Count section of your online account or contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk we can make sure they’re included.

4. Preparing for the Field Survey
If you take part in the Field Survey then you should have received your survey packs by now, either in the form of an email linking to the online resources or a printed pack in the post. If you are expecting a Field Survey pack and haven’t yet received one then please contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk. The online versions of the survey materials can be found on your online account.

The survey periods are:

  • First Survey Period – Between 1st and 15th July
  • Second Survey Period – Between 16th and 30th July

Please remember that low or zero counts are just as important as high counts, so please do take part and send in your results no matter how many bats are present at the site you survey.

To brush up on your species ID skills have a go at our species ID quiz.

5. Available Field Survey and Waterway Survey Sites
We have several sites in need of repeat visits which are listed here for the Field Survey and here for the Waterway Survey (lists can be found at the bottom of the page). Please contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk if you would like to survey any of these sites and we can sign you up. You can download the survey materials from your online account or, if you prefer, we can send you a survey pack in the post closer to the survey period.

If you would like to take part, but there are no suitable sites near you, then let us know and we can send you a list of new sites to choose from.

The Field Survey and Waterway Survey are supported by the generous sponsorship of Wildlife Acoustics.

6. Sunset/Sunrise Survey
The Sunset/Sunrise Survey runs until the end of September. This is a great opportunity to get involved with bat surveying and discover wildlife in your local area. You don’t need any previous experience or special skills to take part, just a healthy dose of enthusiasm! Invite your friends or family and spend an hour looking out for bats in your chosen location, whether it be your garden or a local green space.

If you’re interested, download the Sunset/Sunrise Survey form and instructions from our website and send us your results when you’re done. If you’re lucky enough to find a bat roost, you could then go a step further by taking part in the Roost Count in June, helping us learn even more about bats!

7. Regional Spotlight: South West
In each edition of the Bat Monitoring Post we look at interesting facts and figures from each region and country in the UK. Here we take another look at the South West.

Click here to read the full summary.   https://gallery.mailchimp.com/74f9f582daeaaab236cc1ebf0/files/ced5a67a-08f2-4ced-a35c-6122c5561de7/Regional_focus_South_West.pdf

8. Winner of the Kate Barlow Award 2019

The Kate Barlow Award honours the late Dr. Kate Barlow’s contribution to bat conservation. The award aims to encourage postgraduate students to conduct a substantive bat research project.

We are very pleased to announce that the third winner of the Kate Barlow 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). This species of fruit bat roosts in large numbers within caves and is an easy target for hunters and thus more vulnerable than other bat species. The research will help to shape conservation plans, implement effective conservation education and outreach programs as well as engaging other stakeholders on the importance of cave roost protection.

You can read more about Benneth’s award here and you can find out more about Benneth’s work here.   https://kingstonlab.org/people/benneth-obitte/

 
9. Impact of hedgerow management on bats
Fascinating new research, led by Jeremy Froidevaux, which investigates the effect of hedgerow management on bat activity and diversity has recently been published.

The study, which took place in the south-west of England, measured hedgerow characteristics, insect abundance and bat activity levels at 20 pastoral and mixed farms. The results show that the greater horseshoe bat as well as other non targeted species including the lesser horseshoe and long-eared bats all benefit from a delayed trimming regime. The abundance of insect prey was also enhanced suggesting that untrimmed hedgerows may harbour more prey. Untrimmed hedgerows also had a more prominent and complex structure than those trimmed yearly, meaning they could be better landmarks for commuting and foraging bats.

A summary of the study can be found here  https://www.bats.org.uk/news/2019/05/impact-of-hedgerow-management-on-bats   and you can access the full paper here.  https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13412

The Vincent Weir Scientific Award for Bat Research
It’s that time of year again – the Vincent Weir Scientific Award for bat research is now open and taking nominations.

The award aims to reward and encourage research on the conservation biology of bats by new researchers, and to recognise the late Hon. Vincent Weir’s major contributions to bat conservation over many years. Details of the award can be found on the BCT website here.

You can nominate a candidate for the award by contacting Jessica Taylor (jtaylor@bats.org.uk) with a 300 word justification of your nomination and supplying pdfs of the publications for which they are nominated – but be quick, the deadline for nominations is Friday 28th June.

More Dates for your Diary

Events:

  • 6 September 2019 – Conservation and Technology Conference. Venue – University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. For more details or to book your place click here.
  • 6-8 September 2019 – National Bat Conference. Venue – University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. For more details or to book your place click here.
  • 9 November 2019 – Scottish Bat Worker’s Conference *SAVE THE DATE*. For more information click here or email Liz Ferrell at eferrell@bats.org.uk.
  • 29 February 2020 –  National Bat Care Conference *SAVE THE DATE*. For more information click here or email Naomi Webster at nwebster@bats.org.uk.

Training Courses:

  • Multiple dates – NBMP bat detector workshops. Nationwide. These are designed to train new or inexperienced volunteers to use bat detectors and complete NBMP surveys. Click here for more info.
  • 21-23 August 2019 – Advanced Bat Survey Techniques. Over three days and two nights, attendees will be given theoretical and practical experiences of acoustic lures, harp traps, mist nets and radio tracking. Click here for more info.
  • 15 October 2019 – Surveying trees for bats. This one day course builds on participants’ existing knowledge and provides an understanding of trees and the techniques needed to survey them effectively. Click here for more info.
  • 13 November 2019 – Bearing Witness for Wildlife Training. This one day course is for anyone wanting to improve their skills in recognising and reporting wildlife crime or when acting as a witness. Click here for more info.

The Bat Monitoring Post Archive

Click here to access past issues of the Bat Monitoring Post and to look at reviews of Bat Detectors from previous editions.  https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/reports/e-bulletin-archive

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: –   https://somersetbat.group/2019/05/26/cattcot-may19/.  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!

Andy
Membership Sec. Somerset Bat Group
https://somersetbat.group


Web link = https://somersetbat.group/bats/nbmp/bbs/

From: British Bat Survey <BritishBatSurvey@bats.org.uk>
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!  https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/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.  https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/british-bat-survey/take-part

Any questions? Please contact us at britishbatsurvey@bats.org.uk.

Regards,  Sonia
Sonia Reveley, Project Officer


Web link – https://somersetbat.group/about/bct-info/

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 http://riverallenbatroost.org.uk 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:
https://bit.ly/1q2ZvVG
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: https://bit.ly/2QzXzUP
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 (cboothby@bats.org.uk), 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: https://bit.ly/2VbXION
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: https://bit.ly/2KcheJ9

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: https://bit.ly/2Ibi6Lu
You will need a heterodyne (tunable) bat detector and experience of identifying the target species:
https://bit.ly/2WdwoV6 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: cbgcommunicationofficer@yahoo.co.uk
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: https://bit.ly/2TMvSgv If you
are interested in attending, please email comms@bats.org.uk , 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 https://discovermammals.org/ 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: info@thehabitatfoundation.org
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: https://bit.ly/2EsGh7l
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
website: https://bit.ly/2JYelLV

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: https://bit.ly/2WvkTIx
(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: https://bit.ly/2HAn2uc
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: https://bit.ly/2WvkTIx

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: https://bit.ly/2UaTLT
  • 06-08 September 2019 – National Bat Conference, University of Nottingham. For more information or to book your place see the BCT website at: https://bit.ly/2DFW2I9
  • 09 November 2019 – Scottish Bat Workers Conference, Battleby. **SAVE THE DATE**. For more information see: https://bit.ly/2vjCS5H

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: https://bit.ly/2MgOWjE
  • 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: https://bit.ly/2YIGKtz
  • 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: https://bit.ly/2EtgnjK

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: https://www.ibrc2019.com/.  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) https://bit.ly/2XHLTle
  • 9-11 August – The London Wildlife Festival: https://bit.ly/2FrkRXN for more details.
  • 24 August – International Bat Night 2019: https://bit.ly/2ZAelqY
  • 31 August – 05 September 2019 XXVII International Bioacoustics Congress, University of Sussex, Brighton. For more information see: http://www.2019.ibac.info/
  • 27-28 September. South-West Outdoor Festival. The National Trust at Penrose (Cornwall): https://bit.ly/2c6wKTi
  • 12–13 November 2019 – Communicate, Bristol Zoo. The UK’s conference for environmental communicators. For more information see: https://bit.ly/2PyJfeQ
Best wishes,
Colin.

NBMP News

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 https://nbmp.bats.org.uk/Surveys.aspx, 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 nbmp@bats.org.uk 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 http://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/national-bat-monitoring-programme/surveys/field-survey.&#8221;

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

It’s survey time! Bat Group Newsletter Mid May 2019

Hi bat group members,

The busy time of year is coming up, and in this newsletter, we have lots of opportunities to get involved in surveys, an exciting request for help from the National Trust in Exmoor, and the latest edition of the Bat Monitoring Post from the BCT (copied below)

 

1. Sunrise Sunset Surveys

Anyone can take part in these, and everyone is encouraged to!  Taking part in the Sunset-Sunrise Survey couldn’t be simpler, you don’t need any equipment or experience and you may not even need to leave your back garden!

More info: https://somersetbat.group/bats/nbmp/

2. Roost emergence counts

Many bat group members will be out during June to count the numbers of bats emerging from known roosts for the National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP).There are lots of opportunities to get involved during June

If you have any questions then please contact Pete Gulliver our NBMP Champion.

3. Bat Survey – Holnicote, Exmoor

Basil Stow the National Trust Area Ranger for the Holnicote estate on Exmoor, has been in touch to ask for bat group members help with an exciting bat survey between June and September.  Full details of how to get involved are here.

June is THE month for emergence counts, and we’ll be back in touch about the Field Surveys during July shortly.

Kind regards,

Pete Gulliver

NBMP Champion, Somerset Bat Group
https://somersetbat.group/bats/nbmp/  

 


 

Welcome to the April edition of the Bat Monitoring Post!

Spring is well and truly underway and the NBMP Summer Surveys are just around the corner. The Sunset/Sunrise Survey has already begun and will run throughout the summer, while the core surveys kick off with the Roost Count in June. This bulletin is crammed with information on how you can take part, with a couple of extra surprises thrown in. It has also been great to see so much Hibernation Survey data coming in over the last couple of months. If you have any more results to submit, or would like to add new sites to the programme please do let us know!
 

Contents

  • Sunset/Sunrise Survey
  • Preparing for the Roost Count
  • Bat Roost Webcam – Essex Wildlife Trust
  • Available Field Survey and Waterway Survey Sites
  • Bat Detector Workshops
  • Eavesdropping behaviour of bats
  • More dates for your diary

Sunset/Sunrise Survey

The 2019 Sunset/Sunrise Survey is now up and running. This is a great opportunity to get involved with bat surveying and discover wildlife in your local area. You don’t need any previous experience or special skills to take part, just a healthy dose of enthusiasm! Invite your friends or family and spend an hour looking out for bats in your chosen location, whether it be your garden or a local green space.
If you’re interested, download the Sunset/Sunrise Survey form and instructions from our website and send us your results when you’re done. If you’re lucky enough to find a bat roost, you could then go a step further by taking part in the Roost Count in June, helping us learn even more about bats!

Preparing for the Roost Count

Bats will be returning to their maternity roosts soon, which means it’s time to start getting ready for the Roost Count!
As ever the main survey period will be in June (though timings vary slightly for the horseshoe bats) and we will be sending out updated survey packs for this year soon. If you find a new roost, or are aware of a roost which is not currently monitored as part of the NBMP, it would be great to add these to the scheme. This can either be done by pressing the ‘add new roost’ button on your online recording account, or by filling out a blank survey form and sending it to us.
Remember to send in your results online or via post after completing your surveys!

Bat Roost Webcam – Essex Wildlife Trust

Ever wondered what bats get up to inside their roost? Essex Wildlife Trust have recently set up a camera inside a bat box in the roof of the Hanningfield Reservoir visitor centre, which is home to a soprano pipistrelle roost. Last year, 1773 bats were recorded at the site, the largest number of soprano pipistrelles ever recorded as part of the NBMP! If you want to get an insight into the bats’ behaviour and see how they are doing, take a look at the Bat Webcam.

Available Field Survey and Waterway Survey Sites

We have several sites that need repeat visits which are listed here for the Field Survey and here for the Waterway Survey (lists can be found at the bottom of the page). Please contact us at nbmp@bats.org.uk if you would like to survey any of these sites and we can sign you up. You can download the survey materials from your online account or, if you prefer, we can send you a survey pack in the post closer to the survey period.
The Field Survey and Waterway Survey are supported by the generous sponsorship of Wildlife Acoustics.
 

Bat Detector Workshops

Each year we organise a programme of NBMP introductory bat detector workshops in order to train new volunteers and refresh the skills of existing volunteers. These workshops begin with a classroom session which focuses on identifying bats by their echolocation calls, followed by an evening practical session in the field.
So far nine workshops have been confirmed and details of more dates and venues across the UK will be finalised and made available over the next few weeks. For more information or to book a place click here.

Eavesdropping behaviour of bats

The results from a large-scale field experiment investigating eavesdropping in bats that took place across 12 lakes in Europe in 2016 have recently been published.
Bats are thought to eavesdrop on the echolocation calls (including ‘feeding buzzes’) of other individuals to locate other bats and also to find prey. The researchers wanted to know how bat behaviour changed when eavesdropping and the results showed that while the calls of other bats does affect their behaviour, their response depends on a number of factors such as the species, diet and the number of individuals involved. The study provides new insights into how bats use social information about the species present, prey abundance and potential competition, and has implications for understanding species interactions and distributions.
The study included five species also found in the UK: Daubenton’s bat, Natterer’s bat, Leisler’s bat, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle. You can access the full paper here.

More dates for your diary

Events:

  • 11-12 May 2019 – Wales Bat Worker’s Weekend. Venue – Glyndwr University, Wrexham. For more details or to book your place click here or email training@bats.org.uk.
  • 21 May 2019 – Lighting Symposium. Venue – Arup’s offices, London. For more details or to click here.
  • 6 September 2019 – Conservation and Technology Conference. Venue – University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. For more details or to book your place click here.
  • 6-8 September 2019 – National Bat Conference. Venue – University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. For more details or to book your place click here.
  • 9 November 2019 – *SAVE THE DATE* Scottish Bat Worker’s Conference. For more information click here or email eferrell@bats.org.uk.

Click here for more event details

Training Courses:

  • Multiple dates – NBMP bat detector workshops. Nationwide. These are designed to train new or inexperienced volunteers to use bat detectors and complete NBMP surveys. Click here for more info.
  • 16 & 17 May 2019 – Surveying for bats – Nettlecombe Court, Somerset. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to plan professional bat surveys, as well as developing practical survey skills and field sign identification. Click here for more info.
  • 21-23 August 2019 – Advanced Bat Survey Techniques. Over three days and two nights, attendees will be given theoretical and practical experiences of acoustic lures, harp traps, mist nets and radio tracking. Click here for more info.
 

The Bat Monitoring Post Archive

Click here to access past issues of the Bat Monitoring Post and to look at reviews of Bat Detectors from previous editions.

 

SBG Newsletter – early May 2019

Dear Bat Group Members,

Hope everyone’s enjoying the warmer nights and longer evenings, our local bats certainly seem to be doing so!  Lots to cover in the newsletter, so getting straight to the point:

1/ Bat Group Events

Our first events of the year are coming up, would be great to see lots of group members there:

  • Bat Box checks in Taunton  – Sat 18th May 2019
  • Avalon Marshes Bat Box checks – Sat 25th May 2019
  • Shepton Mallet Bat walk – Fri 31st May 2019

Details of how to get involved on our website: https://somersetbat.group/events/ 

2/ Somerset Bat Group Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Many thanks to all those that attended and contributed!  We covered the usual AGM business of accounts, reports, electing Committee for 2019 and revising our constitution.  But we also  discussed potential plans for 2019 with potential surveys for the National Trust on Exmoor, and the Woodland Trust, perhaps on Blackdowns.

The AGM minutes can be found here:  https://somersetbat.group/about/meet/

3/ Membership

If you last paid your SBG subs in 2018, now the AGM has gone, it is time to renew your membership.   You can now do this easily online:     https://somersetbat.group/join/
As Cath said recently on Facebook “it’s now so much easier to join Somerset Bat group using the online form”.

4/ Website

The eagle eyed may have noticed we have a new shorter address for the website (the old addresses still work), and as we have upgraded, it no longer has those annoying adverts!   https://somersetbat.group

5/ BCT Update

The BCT new Bat Groups Officer, Colin Morris’s first BCT update can be read by clicking here.  The full archive of BCT updates is here:  htps://somersetbat.group/about/bct-info/

There is lots happening at the moment, so we’ll shortly be in touch again with details of the upcoming National Bat Monitoring Programs.

Batty regards,

Andy

Membership Secretary for Somerset Bat Group
https://somersetbat.group

New set of Bat Detectors for the group

The groups new set of Bat Detectors arrived today.  Thanks to Adel who got the group a good discount at the Bat conference this weekend!

The group now has three sets of Detectors that we can use for public bat walks, and other group uses.  One set is with Adel in the north of the county, with the other set with Ed at the bottom.  So this set will probably be kept in the middle, but location yet to be agreed.

The detectors are for the groups use, hence if any members would like to use them for activities then please get in touch.

For info. the group also has a Anabat and a Petterson Detector that can be used for survey work.

New set of bat detectors for SBG

New set of bat detectors for SBG

 

Brue Valley 2017 Big Bat Survey Report

Results of the last Brue Valley Survey are in.  The culmination of “our 5 year mission”.

What bats did we hear, and where were they? Have a read of the report to find out.

With many thanks to:

  • all the volunteers that took part,
  • the landowners that allowed the survey to take place,
  • Paula Hewitson at SERC for coordinating the volunteer effort,
  • Edward Wells for the sound analysis and writing the text
  • Claire Smith for pulling all of this together into a report

(hopefully I haven’t missed anyone out, but if I have I’d like to say a very big thank you!)

In Memory of Lou Pickersgill

1st July 2013LouP

Lou Pickersgill died in June 2013 at the age of 64. Until her final illness Lou was Secretary of the Somerset Bat Group, a member of Dorset Bat Group and Avon Bat Group, Treasurer of the Somerset Mammal Group, Chairman of the Yeovil Area Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, a Voluntary Bat Warden and a dedicated surveyor for the NBMP and for the surveys of the various groups to which she belonged.

Lou had the unusual virtue of being both a superb organiser and motivator and an excellent field naturalist. She was the most dynamic secretary the Somerset Bat Group has ever had and everyone came to rely on her untiring efforts. It is not always easy to keep all the group up to scratch but Lou made sure that people turned out for every meeting. She was an essential part of the team for the Bechsteins Survey and the leader of the Barbastelle Survey on the Quantocks. Lou was the driving force behind many bat box schemes and a part of the group monitoring the hibernation sites in the Mendip cave. It was typical of Lou that only a few months before her untimely death, as she awaited chemotherapy, she was walking and mapping out transects for the new Brue Valley Big Bat Survey.

Our thoughts are with her partner, Nigel, and her sisters and brother. Lou faced her illness with characteristic practicality and pragmatism. She enjoyed her life and whilst frustrated at not being able to do more she saw much to celebrate in what she had seen and inspired others to enjoy. She will be remembered and greatly missed by everyone who knew her.