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Field Survey

Why not 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 noctuleserotinecommon pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle are faring across the UK.

Serotine is not likely to be found in northern England and Scotland, so in these areas only noctule and pipistrelles will typically be recorded on this survey. In Northern Ireland, Leisler's bat is monitored instead of noctule and serotine.

You will need a heterodyne (tuneable) bat detector and experience of identifying the target species. We have a limited number of bat detectors which we can lend to volunteers. If you would like to borrow equipment please click here.

This clip shows one of the sights you might see on this survey - a common pipistrelle in flight.

This survey is sponsored by:

Wildlife Acoustics logo


A guide to taking part 

Sign up to this survey This will take you to the NBMP Surveys page. Scroll to Field Survey to sign up to this survey.

June - we send you your survey pack

This includes survey forms, full instructions and a survey route map if you are surveying a repeat site.

You will be allocated one or more 1km squares to survey. If the survey is at a new location you will need to map out a route.

Field Survey example route

June/early July - visit your site during the day

Seek landowner permission if needed.

Walk the route to check it is safe and accessible. If needed, modify the route to avoid potential hazards when walking at night, or contact us for a different site.

Field Survey daytime recce

July - visit your site on two evenings to carry out surveys

The first survey should be between 1st and 15th July and the second survey between 16th and 30th July.

The survey begins 20 minutes after sunset and usually takes about 90 minutes.

You should not survey alone, so you will need one or more survey buddies. Bring friends or family along for safety and to share the excitement of watching bats!

 Field Survey evening

Your survey route will have 12 stopping points.

While walking between stopping points count any noctule and serotine passes (or Leisler's bat in Northern Ireland).

Stop for two minutes at each stopping point and count any common and soprano pipistrelle passes.

Common pipistrelle in flight

Send us your results

Once you have completed your surveys, post your completed forms or input your results online.

Field Survey form

Sign up to this survey  This will take you to the NBMP Surveys page. Scroll to Field Survey to sign up to this survey.

Contact us at if you need help with any aspect of taking part in this survey.

Your survey pack will contain full instructions for carrying out the survey method and identifying the species. For more help with carrying out this survey see the Field Survey online tutorial or attend an NBMP training workshop.  


This survey is sponsored by:


Wildlife Acoustics logo




The Bat Conservation Trust does not endorse the services of our Corporate Sponsors



Find out more

Field Survey available sites - 2016 (546 KB) - 16/06/16
Download to get a list of available Field Survey sites across the UK


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Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228