25th July to 7th September
How to take part
This survey is funded by Natural England and focuses on monitoring barbastelles at sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) due to the presence of this species. In previous years we have also rolled the survey out to non-SAC sites but we are discontinuing this aspect of the survey for the time being. Thank you to everyone who has carried out surveys at non-SAC sites.
Click here for a summary of surveys at all sites carried out up to 2011. Monitoring is ongoing at the barbastelle SAC sites listed in the summary. If you live near one of these sites and are interested in helping with surveys then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surveyors are asked to walk a 60-70 minute transect in a woodland of their choice. All species are recorded, with particular focus on the rare barbastelle bat. Ideally the woodland should predominantly contain mature broad-leaved trees and also have water features. Continuous recordings are made using a frequency division bat detector attached to a mini-disc recorder or other digital recording device. Click here for an article on digital recording with bat detectors. The recordings are then analysed by BCT staff in order to identify and quantify the species that are present. If recording to mini-disc it is helpful if you can convert your recordings to .wav format and send them to us on CD (click here for instructions on how to do this using free Audacity software).
If you own a bat detector, but are not yet confident in using it to identify different species, you can still put it to good use by taking part in the Waterway Survey. The Field Survey is for more experienced surveyors who are able to identify noctule, serotine, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle in the field. If you are interested in improving your skills we run bat detector workshops, so that volunteers can take part in our surveys. If you know of a bat roost near you then you might like to carry out a Roost Count or you could help find new roosts by taking part in the Sunset/Sunrise Survey.