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Pilot Project

BCT ran four pilot projects during the pilot programme to test the theory that more people would engage in bat conservation if certain barriers were overcome. Partnerships were key to these projects. BCT worked with the local bat groups, community groups and expert organisations to produce new resources and run events to involve communities with their local bat populations. The pilots were very successful and involved more than 500 people from under-represented groups, which directly helped to deliver both local and UK Biodiversity Action Plans.

Detailed case studies of the pilot projects for Avon, Birmingham and Dorset are available in the Count Bat Pilot Project report (click link to download), or contact one of the Count Bat Regional Officers for a hard copy of the report. A summary of the four pilot projects are listed below:

Avon Pilot Project 

Brandon Trust volunteers at Avon pilot project (BCT)The pilot project in the Avon area took place between February and August 2006. The project was carried out in partnership with:

Avon Bat Group

Brandon Trust

The National Trust (Tyntesfield)

The Brandon Trust volunteers with support from the Avon Bat Group and The National Trust, took part in numerous activities which delivered under Local and UK Biodiveristy Action Plans for bats.

Bat boxes being put up at Tyntesfield (BCT)Activities carried out included:

  • Local monitoring and surveying
  • A National Bat Monitoring Programme Colony Count
  • An introduction to bats workshop
  • Building bat boxes that were put up on site at Tyntesfield


    Through the partnerships created in this project BCT was able to overcome some of the barriers and introduce bats to a group of people who had never experienced bats before.

    BCT is pleased to say that Brandon Trust volunteers continue to monitor bats at Tyntesfield and their local areas. 

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    Birmingham Pilot Project

    Volunteer at Balsall Heath Carnival (BCT)

    The pilot project in Birmingham took place between February and August 2006. The project was carried out in partnership with:

    Birmingham and Black Country Bat Group

    Birmingham City Council

    Cannon Hill Park Friends

    St Paul's Venture

    The Birmingham project focused on the ethnically diverse area of Balsall Heath in Birmingham.  Through partnership work we overcame some of the barriers of language by creating a multi-lingual leaflet in Somali, Arabic, Urdu and English and a display banner in the 11 different languages spoken in the city.

    The project was focused round the community centre (St Paul's Venture) with a range of bat activites opertating from the centre.

    Activities included: Bat float at Balsall Heath Carnival

    • How to lead a bat walk training
    • A Bat Roadshow (read more about the BBC coverage)
    • Batman float as part of the Balsall Heath Carnival
    • Several bat walks
    • Bat BBQ with National Bat Monitoring Programme Sunset - Sunrise survey
    • Evening boat trip

    The project proved it is possible to engage urban communities in bat conservation through a range of activities, all of which delivered actions under UK and Local Biodiveristy Action Plans for bats.

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    Dorset Pilot Project

    The pilot project in Dorset took place between April and September 2006.

    Sighted guide training on Dorset pilot project (BCT)The project was carried out in partnership with:

    Dorset Bat Group

    Dorset Blind Association

    Dorset Wildlife Trust

    The Kingcombe Centre

    Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

    Centre for Access and Communication

    Through working in partnership with expert organisations such as the Dorset Blind Association, the Centre for Access and Communication Studies as well as the visually impaired volunteers from the Kingcombe Centre we were able to overcome some of the barriers to participation in bat conservation. 

    The Doset Bat Group took part in visual impairment awareness training delivered by the Dorset Blind Association.  This training gave the bat group the confidence to be sighted guides for the Kingcombe Centre volunteers.

    Bat detectors were modified using "bumpons" to mark the important frequencies on the dial.  Some models of bat detectors are better adapted to this than others.

    We also were able to create a large print format leaflet containing basic bat information.

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    Bedfordshire Pilot Project

    Bat sculpture made from willow (BCT)The pilot project in Bedfordshire took place between January and September 2007. The project was carried out in partnership with:

    Bedfordshire Bat Group

    Bedfordshire County Council

    Bedford Borough Council

    Pride in Bedford

    Queen's Park Neighbourhood Centre

    Black Environment Network

    Bats are brilliant event in Bedford (BCT)

    Following on from the success of the Birmingham pilot project, a similar project was developed in the Bedford region. This focused on the predominately Asian community of Queen's Park in raising awareness of bats and their conservation as well as delivering actions under UK and Local Biodiversity Action Plans.

    Activities included:

    • ‘Bats are Brilliant' community day
    • How to lead a bat walk training
    • Bat friendly planting with Queen's Park Lower School
    • A number of bat walks
    • Bat fun day
    • Using your ears bat detector training

    The activities allowed members of the community to experience their local natural heritage in a new way. Many had never seen a bat in their local environment. The project successfully identified several anecdotal bat roosts for further investigation as well as increasing the records of bats for the local record centre.

    Funding for the Bedfordshire pilot project was provided by the Landfill Communities fund of Waste Recycling Group (WRG), administered and distributed by Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) and Bedfordshire County Council.  WREN 
     Bedfordshire County Council

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