Bechstein's bat Project
The Bechstein's bat survey was a National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) project that began in September 2007. Over the course of 4 years the project aimed to survey woodlands in Southern England and South Wales using a new survey technique. The project involved local bat groups and hoped to produce important information about the Bechstein's bat's distribution range and habitat preferences.
Our Bechstein's bat: An introduction for Woodland Owners document is now available to download.
The final report for the project is now available to download. Bechstein's bat survey final report.
The project is the first time that this most elusive bat has been the subject of a concerted effort to establish baseline distribution data across the entire species range in England and Wales. The aim of the project was to produce a more accurate distribution map and gather information to inform future conservation policy and woodland management.
The Bechstein's bat is one of the rarest of our mammals and a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. Until now it has been difficult to detect as it rarely leaves the canopy of its favoured broadleaf woodland habitat.
Leading UK bat researchers Frank Greenaway and David Hill have developed and tested a ground-breaking technique to relay ultrasonic social calls to locate these very secretive bats. Their survey techniques have been adopted as the basis for the National Bechstein's Bat Survey across southern England and Wales. The project relied on the involvement of experienced, specially trained volunteers recruited through the local bat group network and the support of landowners and woodland managers.
4-5 counties/areas were surveyed during each year of the project with volunteers from bat groups in these areas being trained in the technique to be used. For more information about the first, second and third years of the project please visit the appropriate pages.