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Press release


21st August, 2011

Britain’s biggest bat watch:

European Bat Weekend 27-28th August 2011

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is urging people to turn their eyes to the skies at sunset to look out for bats this European Bat Weekend (27th-28th August) for the new Big Bat Map.

The Big Bat Map provides an interactive way for people to help with bat conservation in their local environment.  The web based map allows the public to share and map bat sightings, discover local bat hotspots, find bat events and gives hints and tips on spotting bats. The Big Bat Map has been launched by the Bat Conservation Trust, as part of their Count Bat Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Chris Packham, President of BCT and BBC Springwatch presenter said:

“Bats are unique amazing creatures, living close alongside us, but many people don’t realise they might be able see bats in their own backyard.

The Big Bat Map is an easy way to help these threatened and misunderstood mammals. I hope everyone will join Britain’s biggest bat watch ever and look out for bats for European Bat Weekend, whether it’s as you draw their curtains in the evening or as you are coming home from the pub! If you do spot any, you can help put bats on the map by adding your
sighting on the Big Bat Map.”

There are 18 species of bats in the UK, many of which often live close to people, roosting
in houses and feeding over our parks and gardens even in towns and cities.”

Julia Hanmer, Chief Executive of the Bat Conservation Trust said:

“Watching bats fly against the night sky is an amazing experience on a summer evening and the Big Bat Map can show you how to get started. With 2011 the Year of the Bat and European Bat Weekend coming up at the end of August there has never been a better time to get involved.

Local bat groups are organising bat walks and talks and there are great places to see bats across the UK.  Sometimes the best place to see bats may be your garden or local park.  And if you share your bat sightings on the new Big Bat Map you can help us to identify new bat hotspots. We aim to get more people looking out for bats than ever before”


Media enquiries:  Heather McFarlane, Director of Marketing 020 7820 7168  or Dan Merrett, Bat Conservation Trust Count Bat Co-ordinator, 07761942393,

to editor

  1. The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is the only national organisation solely devoted
    to the conservation of bats and their habitats in the UK. Its network of 100 local bat groups and more than 1,000 bat workers survey roosts and hibernation sites, and work with householders, builders, farmers and foresters to protect bats.
  2. BCT operates the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228, providing advice for all who come into contact with bats or have questions about them. More information can be found on BCT’s website,
  3. For more information on Count Bat please go to
  4. Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects, allocating over £4.6billion across the UK.  Website:
         For more information, please call Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel:
         (020) 7591 6036/07973 613820.




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