Basic bat care
Any bat that is found on the ground, or in an exposed area, especially during the day, is likely to need help.
How can I help?
If the bat is on the ground, on an outside wall, or in an exposed area where it may be vulnerable, it should be contained in a box (see the instructions below) and you should call the Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228 for further advice. We have details for over 250 volunteer Bat Carers operating throughout the UK, and may be able to refer you to someone local to you for further advice.
Thanks to our hard working Out of Hours Helpline volunteers, the Helpline is open evenings, weekends and bankholidays between May and September when bats are most active.
Call 0345 1300 228 and follow the instructions. If the line is busy please leave a message and if you have not been called back within one hour please try the Helpline again.
If you find a bat at a time when the Helpline is closed, please refer to the advice at the bottom of this page.
You should avoid handling the bat, but if it is necessary WEAR GLOVES due to the small risk of a rabies type virus.
Containing a bat
You will need:
- A shoe box, with holes punched in the lid (or container of equivalent size)
- A cloth or teatowel
- A plastic bottle cap (milk bottle tops are perfect)
How to contain the bat:
1. Contain the bat:
a) Like a spider, by placing a box on top of it and sliding a piece of card underneath.
b) Alternatively, cover the bat with a cloth/teatowel and carefully scoop it up and place it in the box.
2. Put a tea towel or soft cloth in the box for the bat to hide in.
3. Put in a small, shallow container e.g. a plastic milk bottle top with a few drops of water (not enough for the bat to drown in). Make sure the water is topped up regularly.
4. Keep the bat indoors somewhere quiet and dark
5. Most importantly, call the Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 for further advice.
Only a bat that has been confirmed as fit and healthy by a bat carer should be released, and never during the day.
Please don't assume the bat is healthy and leave it outside to fly away.
When the Helpline is closed
Between May and September you can speak to someone on the Helpline until 10.30pm, including at weekends and on bank holidays. Call 0345 1300 228 and
follow the instructions. If the line is busy please leave a message and if you have not been called back within one hour please try the Helpline again.
In emergencies, however, some local bat group helplines may be able to assist if you are located in their county (see below). If no Helpline is listed, other options are your local vet, or the RSPCA National Helpline 0300 1234 999.
AVON: 07921 553784
CORNWALL: 01872 278 695 (http://www.cornwall-batgroup.co.uk/)
SOUTH DEVON: 01803 782 218
ESSEX: 07734 265 571 (http://www.essex-batgroup.org.uk/)
GWYNEDD AND ANGLESEY: 01766 762 437 (http://www.gwyneddbats.org.uk/)
HERTFORDSHIRE AND MIDDLESEX: please visit http://hmbg.org.uk/ or in emergencies only call 07770 515551
EAST LANCASHIRE: 07761 850052 (http://www.eastlancsbats.org/help-ive-found-a-bat/)
NORTH LANCASHIRE AND SOUTH CUMBRIA: 01524 701 316
SOUTH LANCASHIRE AND MANCHESTER: 0161 764 8850 (http://www.slbg.org.uk/)
SURREY BAT RESCUE: 07910 108525
LEICESTERSHIRE: 01572 755274
LINCOLNSHIRE: 01775 766 286 (http://www.lincsbatgroup.co.uk/)
SOUTH YORKSHIRE: 07717 290538 / 07796 572915(https://sites.google.com/site/southyorkshirebathelpline/)
WEST YORKSHIRE: 01924 256 577 - this is an answer machine service, checked twice a day. (http://www.westyorkshirebats.org.uk/)
No number for your area? If you are unable to reach a carer we would recommend taking the bat to a local vet or wildlife hospital, or contacting the RSPCA National Helpline 0300 1234 999. Be sure to give them your contact details and address, and the phone number for our Helpline.