Rescuing a bat, step by step
The National Bat Helpline never charges up front for the help we give bat finders. However, we do ask that people who find the advice on this page useful make a donation if they are able. You can donate via our bat care JustGiving page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about other ways to give.
After containing the bat, please call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 for further advice. Our phone lines are open year-round between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm, Monday-Friday (except public holidays). Between May and September, thanks to our hard-working Out of Hours volunteers, the Helpline is also open evenings (6pm - 10pm), weekends and bank holidays (10am -10pm).
Please note that we will need the bat to be contained in a box before we can help further. If you have issues with containing the bat, please go back to the previous page and read through the FAQs.
While we don't operate a bat rescue service, we do have details for independent volunteers around the UK who look after bats in their spare time. In a typical year, over 60% of the bat finders who call us receive help from one of these volunteers. Please have a pen and paper (or your phone!) ready to take down volunteer numbers when you call.
If there aren't any volunteers in your area, or if they aren't available, we will advise you to take the bat to a vet.
What if the Helpline's closed?
If you find a bat outside the Helpline's opening hours, please try these two options:
1. Check for a regional helpline in your area
In emergencies some local bat group helplines may be able to assist if you are located in their county (see below). Please do not call numbers outside your area, as they will not be able to assist. Please also ensure the bat is properly contained before phoning a helpline.
Please remember that most of these contacts are volunteers. If you cannot get through straight away please leave them a message. If you do not hear back from them within a few hours, or if they are unable to help, please take the bat to a local vet (see below).
- North Lancashire Helpline (also covering South Cumbria): 01524 701 316
- South Lancashire Helpline (including Greater Manchester): 01617 648 850
- Warwickshire Bat Rescue: 07754 952 339. This number is for help with injured or grounded bats ONLY. It cannot help with roost issues or planning-related enquiries.
- Derbyshire Bat Group: 07594 288 920
- Leicestershire and Rutland Helpline: 01572 755 27
- Lincolnshire Bat Helpline: 01775 766 286
- Lincolnshire Bat Rescue: 07713 760 211 (also on Whatsapp) / 07791 803 189 / 01754 880 070 (try all three numbers if necessary and leave message on landline)
- Bat Rescue Berkshire: 07397 234 579
- Bristol Bat Rescue: 07754 699 836
- Devon Helpline: 01803 214 665
- Wiltshire Bat Care: 07706 842 128
- Gower Bird Hospital: 01792 371 630
- Please contact Northern Ireland Bat Group via their online form
2. Take the bat to your nearest vet
If there isn't a regional helpline in your area, or if you don't hear back from them, please take the bat to your nearest vet. Please make sure vet staff take a note of the address where the bat was found, and tell them that they can phone us for advice and support; if our phone lines are shut, they can search online for our Bat Care Guidelines.
If vet staff tell you they cannot take a bat, please ask them for details of another vet that can accept it instead. Please also encourage them to phone us, as we may be able to address their concerns.
All vets are required to have 24-hour emergency cover (although this may be provided by a different company or at a different location). If your local vet surgery is shut, please check their website, answerphone message or door sign for details.
If you're outside the UK
Unfortunately, we're only able to assist with grounded and injured bats in the UK. If you're in another country, please visit this page for a list of international contacts.
The Bat Conservation Trust receives no public funding for the National Bat Helpline’s bat care work. We rely entirely on donations to keep helping people who have found bats. If you can, please donate via our bat care JustGiving page, or email email@example.com to learn about other ways to give.