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Out Of Hours Bat Helpline

Grey long-eared (Hugh Clark)

When bats are most active (between May and September) BCT runs an out of hours (OOH) helpline, where volunteers answer emergency calls from the public in the evenings and on weekends. Volunteers attend a fun training day in April before the season begins, which prepares them for taking calls. Volunteers also receive full support from BCT staff throughout the season.

The project has been running successfully since 2004. Here’s how it all works: 

- At the end of the working day (5.30pm) a member of staff will divert the BCT phones to the volunteer on Bat Watch that evening (either their mobile or landline of choice) until 10:30pm.

- On weekends, Bat Watch is split into three; 9am-1:30pm, 1:30-6pm, 6-10:30pm.

- Callers to OOH hear an automated message explaining that the service is available for emergencies. They're given the option of either leaving a message (for non-urgent enquiries) or being put through to a volunteer.

- The following morning (9am) a member of staff will divert the phone back to the BCT office or, during weekends, to the next volunteer on Bat Watch.

Common calls involve grounded or injured bats, baby bats and bats trapped in people’s houses. The OOH helpline can sometimes be challenging but having the opportunity to help save bats and speak to members of the public can also very rewarding. The OOH project is very supportive and encouraging to volunteers and there is a sense of community between all those involved. It would not be possible to run such a service without the volunteers and their help is hugely appreciated.

OOH Report 2017

2017 was our second busiest OOH season! 39 volunteers took 2334 calls and donated a total of 1933 hoursd to bat conservation! A downloadable version of the 2017 report can be found linked above and below. It includes further information about the project and some stats and charts regarding what type of calls we dealt with and where the calls came from.

 How to Volunteer

We are now recruiting for volunteers to help us with the Out of Hours season beginning May 2018. Please note that all participants will need to attend one of the Out of Hours training days. 

Out of Hours Bat Helpline Logo

If you are interested in volunteering for OOH 2018, please contact Hannah Van Hesteren by emailing outofhours@bats.org.uk or calling 0345 1300 228. We will contact you when details of training 2018 have been finialised to offer you the opportunity to apply.

Volunteers are required to attend one of our 2 training days in April 2018;

Saturday 7 April- London

Saturday 14 April- York 

BCT are able cover travel expenses up to £100 and provide lunch and refreshments. 

Find out more


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Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228