Rescuing a bat, step by step

  1. Assess the situation
  2. Contain the bat in a box
  3. Call the National Bat Helpline, or take the bat to a vet (this page)

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). During the summer, thanks to our hard-working Out of Hours volunteers, the Helpline is also open evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

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. 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).

ENGLAND

North West

  • North Lancashire Helpline (also covering South Cumbria): 01524 701 316
  • South Lancashire Helpline (including Greater Manchester): 01617 648 850
  • RSPCA Stapeley Grange: 0300 123 0722

West Midlands

  • Cuan Wildlife Rescue (Shropshire): 01952 728 070
  • 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.
  • RSPCA Stapeley Grange: 0300 123 0722

East Midlands

  • Derbyshire Bat Group: 07594 288 920
  • Leicestershire and Rutland Helpline: 01572 755 274
  • Lincolnshire Bat Helpline: 01775 766 286
  • Lincolnshire Bat Rescue: 07713 760 211 / 07586 293 860 / 01754 880 070 (try all three numbers if necessary)

South East

  • Berkshire Bat Rescue: 07397 234 579
  • Surrey Bat Rescue: 07910 108 525
  • Wildlife Aid (Surrey): 09061 800 132 (calls charged at 50p per minute)
  • East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS): 07815 078234 (emergencies), 01825 873003 (non-emergencies)

South West

  • Bristol Bat Rescue: 07903 497 213
  • Devon Helpline: 01803 214 665
  • RSPCA Wildlife Centre: 0300 123 0721

SCOTLAND

  • Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue (Beith, North Ayrshire): 01505 502 415

WALES

  • Gower Bird Hospital (South West Wales): 01792 371 630

NORTHERN IRELAND

  • 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 without phoning ahead. Please make sure vet staff take a note of the address where the bat was found, and tell them that they can search online for our Bat Care Guidelines.

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.