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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 over the weekends. Volunteers receive training in answering calls before the season begins, as well as 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 (17.30) a member of staff will divert the BCT phones to the volunteer on duty that evening (either their mobile or landline).

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

- The following morning (9.00) a member of staff will divert the phone back to the BCT office or, during weekends, to the next volunteer on the rota.

- We aim to provide out of office hours cover but we don’t expect our volunteers to be available after 22.30 or before 8.00 the next morning.

Common calls involve grounded or injured bats found by the public, bats trapped in people’s houses, newly-discovered roosts and planning and development queries. The OOH helpline can sometimes be challenging but also very rewarding. It would not be possible to run such a service without the volunteers and their help is hugely appreciated.

OOH Report 2016

2016 was our second busiest OOH season! Our volunteers took 2,266 calls, with 2015 taking 2,824!  Over the past three seasons the overall call volume has been over 2,000 and since 2004 there has been an upward trend.  A downloadable version of the 2016 report can be found 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

The 2017 is now open for applications!

Please note that all participants will need to attend one of the Out of Hours training days:

8 April 2017 – London (FULLY BOOKED)

29 April 2017 – Manchester (FULLY BOOKED)

Out of Hours Bat Helpline Logo

UPDATE: A third training day has been confirmed to take place on Saturday 20 May 2017 in London. Spaces are already filling up quickly, so please register your interest by getting in touch with Hannah Van Hesteren by emailing or calling 0345 1300 228 to book your space. 

Find out more

Out of Hours Helpline Report 2016 (986 KB) - 17/01/17
The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) runs a Helpline consisting of permanent and seasonal staff (both full and part-time) to answer a wide range of bat inquiries during office hours (9am to 5.30pm). During the summer months, when bats are most active and the Helpline experiences its highest call numbers, an Out of Hours Helpline is operated to ensure that emergency calls are dealt with when the main Helpline is closed.

OOH Project Description and Work Details (192 KB) - 27/01/16
During the active bat season (May-September), BCT runs an Out Of Hours (OOH) helpline service to deal with emergency calls from the public.

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Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228