18th August 2022

BatFest 2022 programme announced

It’s nearly BatFest time - the Bat Conservation Trust’s month-long celebrations, with a host of events for all ages and abilities.

Whether you are someone who doesn't know a bat from a bird, a family who wants to learn more about the bats you've noticed in your garden or a bat worker with 20+ years experience, you are invited to join in.

Events kick off with a Virtual Bat Walk on 27 August, when we are joining in with International Bat Night, hosting a virtual nationwide bat walk to see bats live up and down the country. You'll find the livestream link for this along with booking links for other BatFest events on our website: https://www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/bat-fest

Next up on August 31 is ‘Carry on up the bat roost - aka 50 Shades of Grey [long-eared bat]’. A light-hearted exploration of the weird and wonderful world of bat sex and research that's revealing its secrets. Delivered by BCT Trustee Matthew Terry, with proceeds going towards the National Bat Helpline.

On September 6 we host a Local Bats Workshop. Join experts from the National Bat Monitoring Programme to find out which bats are in the UK, how they are surveyed, and where you can find these amazing animals in your area. Learn how to carry out your first bat count and also how to continue to develop your skills.

On September 9, NightWatch Live goes live on Instagram. Livestreamed from Brockwell Park, the team will try to detect hidden bats flying past using the AudioMoth ultrasonic recorder and spend an hour over through dusk watching and listening for nocturnal wildlife. Join us live to discover the hidden world of night life.

Next up, for children, is a Batty Sketch-a-long on September 11. Would you like to learn to draw a bat? Whatever level your artistic skills, everyone is welcome to join us and discover fun facts about bats and their anatomy.

The annual Bat Workers’ Forum takes place on September 13, a meeting open to anyone interested in bats, regardless of experience.

Bat Care for non-bat carers takes the spotlight on 15 September, led by Maggie Brown of the West Yorkshire Bat Hospital. Tips on what to do if you find a grounded or injured bat, how to keep yourself and the bat safe, emergency first aid and how to get expert help.

We are also hosting our Batty Awards for Talent and Achievement. Nominations are open, celebrating people’s contributions to the world of bats. Awards include our Batty Laureate Awards and our awards for Bats in Churches volunteers. We will be inducting two significant figures to the Bat Towers Virtual Hall of Fame in recognition of their contribution to bat conservation.

The Young Batty Laureate Award is open to children aged 6-12 years old. This award is for a piece of creative writing involving bats of up to 500 words. It could be a story, a poem or just letting your imagination run wild with words about bats. The first prize is a book goodie bag, tailored for the winner by The Rocketship Bookshop. Runner up prizes include £20 and £10 bookshop gift vouchers.

BatFest rounds off with the National Bat Conference from September 23-25. This is the biggest event in the bat calendar, happening online and live at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre near Stafford. Our keynote speaker this year is Professor Rodrigo Medellin the ‘Batman of Mexico” on ‘how to conserve bats and not die trying’.

Come and find out about the latest discoveries, news on bat science and conservation with a broad and interesting programme of talks, workshops and award announcements. We will showcase a barbastelle super-colony, acoustic lures, modelling climate and land use impacts on bats, how city bat lifestyles is linked to size and fitness, migration and wind farms, new guidelines and licensing, disease surveillance, autumn swarming, Ecologists Anonymous, batty bazaar, posters and an exhibition.

Virtual tickets cost from £60 [one day], £168 [weekend]; in person tickets from £120 [one day], £168 [weekend]. Booking: www.bats.org.uk/our-work/conferences-symposia/national-bat-conference